Oct 15 2012

New Dimensions For Your Halloween Costume

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Well, Halloween is right around the corner, and today I just can’t bring myself to be serious. So, in my daily combing through technology developments, I came across a few small, almost frivolous pieces of technology that actually go quite a ways towards developing that “morphologically free” future I spend so much time discussing.

The first is called the Mega Stomp Panic. Described by its makers as an “Audio Reality Costume,” it can sense your footsteps and even distinguish between light and heavy steps. With a variety of preloaded “characters” it not only makes “footsteps” but includes “ambient sounds” consistent with the character. Check out the video demo:

Yes, it’s way over the top, yes, it’s cheesy as hell. But it also demonstrates precisely what I am talking about when I say that humans will do anything to get what they want. How many of you have spent a Halloween party making sound effects for your costume? How many people do you think would love to have a “soundtrack” for their lives?  Taking myself as an example, I am still trying to find a sound mod for Second life that makes my hooves chime like bells when I walk.

Now how long do you think it will be before someone sees this video, and then designs an iPhone app that does the same thing? Once it’s gone software, it’s going to be everywhere, and the iPhone already has the needed sensors to duplicate the MSP hardware. Just think, by next year, a lot of kids could be running around the neighborhood playing “Godzilla,” complete with sound effects.

Next up on the “costume” side is the “Shippo” mood controlled tail. Yes, it’s a tail that includes a BCI to enable it to respond to your emotions. While I am aware that it’s going to appeal far more to furries like myself, the desire for tails does actually cover a far larger demographic than just the furry crowd, considering the sheer number of SL users who have one who are not furries. This tail not only comes with a head mounted sensor, but a heart rate sensor, and is preprogrammed to match wagging motions with your emotional states.

And t also includes geotagging and smartphone connectivity. This allows the wearer to “broadcast” their emotional states in real time, as well as enable them to locate other “tail wearers”, thus enabling you to find other people who like tails.  Now, imagine when this has had a few years to develop, and those tails have become more sophisticated. Still think my “tail” is going to stay a fantasy?

The next, and last item on my “costume” list is the “Necomimi” (Neko-Mimi, aka Cat Ear) another BCI controlled accessory. These animated cat ears are made by the same company as the tail, and have had already made it to American markets. Like the tail, they detect emotional states, and are animated correspondingly. Check out the video:

Like the tail, its appeal factor is variable, but it’s also a lot broader than just the furry market. Cat-girls, after all, seem to have a massive appeal no matter what demographic you are part of.

So there you go. Three items that can already give you a small taste of the world as it could be once VR and body sculpting become a reality. It’s a pity that the MSP doesn’t have a “cat” setting, because putting all three together could be one bitchin costume. XP