Technology Does Weird Things: Oculus Rift and Gender, Robot Ethics, and True Love Bras
by Susana Polo | 2:42 pm, January 27th, 2014
What has future technology done for us lately? Well, Daft Punk won five Grammys in a single year.* Lets take a look!
The Oculus Rift, in case you’re separated from the gaming community by a foot of tempered steel at all times, is a headset/visor combo making news by being the vertigo inducing virtual reality experience that everybody who bought a Nintendo Virtual Boy really wanted. Folks are doing a lot of interesting things with it, like making skydiving games with strange suspension rigs and immersive ports of Skyrim. The design team BeAnotherLab has done something a bit different.
They strap two people, one male and one female, into an Oculus Rift equipped with external cameras. The feed from the cameras plays in the visor they are not attached to, in order to show participants them the literal perspective of someone with another body, and another gender. The folks in the Rifts agree to mirror each other’s movements, and organizers will do things like place a mirror in front of both participants, or a clear pane of glass. BeAnotherLab hopes their “experiments” will encourage participants to develop “empathy for the other.” Business Insider has some video of the project (it’s NSFW for nudity).
Meanwhile, in the realm of wearable technology, and the country of Japan, comes your next “technology unnecessarily applied to bras” news item. The Ravijour is a bra that only unclasps if it “senses” that its wearer is experiencing “true love.” Its ad purports that it is intended to save women from predatory men by I guess… I’m not even sure. But it’s good news for any evil step-mothers or fairies who are having trouble summoning the magical talent for a good “cursed until true love’s kiss” spell and are looking for a technological work around.
And finally some positive news: there are rumors that along with all the advanced robotics companies, like Boston Mechanics, Google has been gobbling up lately, they’ve also created a complementary ethics board to oversee their new robotics division. And if that doesn’t send shivers of excitement down your spine, then you were not as into Asimov as I was as a teenager.
*Susana has since been informed that Daft Punk are not actually robots.
(Ravijour via Fashionably Geek)