i get a funny feeling in my stomach while reading this article in new york times' sunday style section about boutique dressing room mirrors that allow others in your remote online social network to pitch in thoughts and recommendations.
the first thing that i thought was ridiculous was the overlaying of the virtual image of clothing on top of one's reflection. mapping 2D (an image) onto 3D (a human body) seems really bizarre when it comes to choosing actual clothes. otherwise it's just a simulacra, a paper doll psychology. why are we putting the premium on 2D (the screen, the image, what can be broadcast onto the web) over actual reality?
so, putting people into actual clothes is low-tech (albeit with a smidgen more time, effort, and yanking) and you can still send pictures out into the ether. i dont understand the logic of the projected overlays except for the companies to issue out more looks per minute like some sort of holographic catalog.
and there's this element of trust. you'd trust your friend or sister or mom who comes with you into the shop; do you really trust your friends ('friends') out there? also, why limit yourself to just your social network? would it be worthwhile to have a more democratic process, opening up the voting / input to anyone who's out there and logged on to this network?
reminds me of this project i did back in 2004. (gettin' out the excavation gloves.) at this time, myspace was probably embryonic and facebook was just pushing out the harvard beta. however, the point of the work was to get to that psychological effects from acceptance / rejection / judgment from those in the remote digital sphere. invisible, voyeuristic input from those who can publicly access your image.
here's mirror mirror from my physical computing course at harvard. (hi professor huang!)
have we progressed at all in 3 years? in 6 years (the overdesigned, overtechnologized prada soho flagship opened in 2001)? i dont know the answer, but something must explain the queasiness inside.