A couple of decades ago, one resourceful contemporary art jeweller named Caroline Broadhead explored the idea of using projected light as a tool for body decoration. Of course, as with many experimental art pieces, its connections to the practical weren’t immediately obvious at the time. However, with recent advances in body projection and motion tracking, it seems several designers and developers are revisiting this idea of projecting jewellery and accessories as light onto the body. Only this time, they’ve added a whole new level of functionality.
Ink Mapping Tattoos on the Body
Portuguese video mapping specialist OSKAR + GASPAR have been experimenting recently with the use of video mapping to create living tattoos which move and dance across the body. It provides both a way of testing the look of potential tattoos on a potential client, as well as hints at the possibility of an entirely new form of body art.
Face Tracking as Body Art
The multimedia artist Nobumichi Asai has recently launched a project involving the use of projectors to make masks based on the wearer’s face, allowing facial expression on a dynamic and moving mask. The results are stunning.
…But Could It Be Wearable?
While they make for amazing theatre, it may not be easy to imagine such designs being wearable. Happily it seems someone has already started thinking about that:
Last year a company called Cicret has introduced a smart bracelet which projects a touch screen interface for a mobile phone onto your forearm with a flick of the wrist. While combining projection with a touch interface is a recent development which is being tried in other places, combining it into smart jewellery is a very novel (and very clever) idea.
It will be a while yet before we start seeing dynamic projections on people’s bodies at clubs or when going out. But nevertheless, it is interesting to know that not only does this technology exist, we are starting to see resourceful designers and developers experimenting with its possibilities already.