Henrin, developed by Masaru Tabei and Yuria Terada, is a collection of CD-Rs that contains the life of a 26-year-old woman who has an elder sister. She was born and raised in a local city, had been working at a company after graduating from a university, and recently quit the job and moved to Tokyo. She is half fictional, half based on Yuria Terada's past experiences.

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[left: the disks; right: screenshot of an interactive multimedia diary stored in the disks]

Flash demo and video clip available online.

The collection includes 19 CD-R disks, each of which contains a year of her life. Since she is 26 years old, you can tell some years are missing. This is how the artists designed it to convey "incompleteness of memories" through this work.

Some of what I saw in the interactive multimedia diary were lyrical narratives of mundane things. Other things were somewhat disturbing (like her worries about some "cursing words" she heard when she was a girl).

This could be an interesting format for a new kind of entertainment that potentially stimulates people's voyeuristic curiosity. Using one's digital life history as entertainment media seems like a new approach (whether you like it or not).

via Digital Stadium (in Japanese)

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A high-tech plaster could keep a constant check on your health, thanks to a tiny electronic device, which can be attached to an ordinary plaster.

The "digital plaster" contains a silicon chip, which can carry sensors for a range of symptoms and check vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure and glucose levels.

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The data would then be processed by the Sensium silicon chip which is powered by a tiny battery, and sent via a mobile phone or PDA on to a computer database.

Patients could be alerted if the results were worrying. The computer could also be primed to detect a change in the pattern of results seen, and a doctor could be alerted to the problem.

Keith Errey from Toumaz, a spin-off company from Imperial College in London, which is developing the device, said it could even be used by people who want to keep a remote eye on an elderly relative: "You could include a motion sensor on there and it could act as a kind of 'granny monitor', so you would know if your relative had had a fall."

Via BBC News.

Q Star FlashCam-530 vociferous lampposts are being deployed across the UK.

The FlashCam has already been attached to street furniture in 52 locations in London, Glasgow and Birmingham, where it aims at detering vandalism, in particular graffiti and illegal trash dumping. Water companies are using the system to protect water storage tanks against intruders. Some systems are being used to deter burglary, drug dealing and prostitution.

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The FlashCam-530 senses motion up to 100 feet away. When motion is detected, the system starts taking 35 mm photographs. A bright flash goes off and a loud voice message warns the intruder to "leave the area now" and that his/her photograph is being taken.

Former London Met police officer Steve Galinsky enthused: "They have already caught lots of people - some quite literally with their pants down, engaged with prostitutes. The look of utter amazement on their faces when the camera starts to shout is priceless."

However, The Guardian wonders exactly how the FlashCam distinguishes between strumpets administering sexual relief to punters and old ladies out walking their dogs.

Via The Register.

Space for privacy (2)

The Digital Shelter Kit contains self-adhesive tape -with "digital shelter stand inside the line" printed on it, a mobile phone jammer and an instruction booklet.

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Once the location is chosen, the tape is stuck in place and the mobile phone jammer activated. An electronic space is created by the demarcation of the boundaries of the mobile phone jammer by the taped rectangle. This proposal suggests the potential of electronic spaces by creating a shelter that prevents mobile phone signals from penetrating its boundaries.

This kit is part of Digital Shelter, a PhD project by Pedro Sepulveda-Sandoval, that explores how critical responses to the surveillance and telecommunication systems in the city can inform the development of aesthetic possibilities for electronic spaces.

Cities across Germany are being equipped with electronic jogging paths to beam runners' heart beats to a computer.

Joggers wearing a heart rate belt to send signals to solar-powered radio receivers, will have a "running account" at a computer in Munich, which will analyse their data over months or years.

"Good results" should win the runners discounts on health insurance premiums, which amount to a compulsory 14 per cent cut of salary.

Via The Telegraph.

Japanese software company SGI has developed a mannequin robot that can strike a pose for the nearest person by sensing his or her position - and spy on who s/he are and what s/he's buying.

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"It makes the product the mannequin wears look more attractive, increasing consumers' appetite to buy," explains robot designer Tatsuya Matsui, who heads Flower Robotics.

Palette uses motion-capture technology to replay the movements of supermodels.

Its maker plans to program it to judge the age and sex of shoppers and identify the bags they are carrying and pass along the information to stores for marketing purposes.

Palette has no face as "consumer attention would be diverted to the face if there were one," said Matsui, noting he wanted customers to focus on the clothes or jewellery the mannequin wears.

Palette is available in two versions - the whole-body without legs or upper torso models for jewelry displays. The designer intends to make a Palette with legs along with male and child models.

Via IOL.

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