Wednesday, 25 July 2007

wearable technology

As if we really needed further signs that technology is overtaking our lives ... one of the most traditional stores in the UK, Marks and Spencer, recently featured this suit with HIDDEN ipod pouch on its website. (You completely MUST click on the link and see the close up views ... my friend told me that instore, this suit is held in the 'gimp' section. Oh dear.)

Here's a screenshot:

(I am worried they will take off the image - tantalising though it is.)

The secrecy of the little thing means that you can hide the fact that you are listening to 2pac of Misteeq as you make your way across the city to the next hi powered meeting. But discretion is all a charade of course; minimalist is stylish and it is obligatory to arrive with earphones IN, but to hurriedly remove them. The great thing is that in fact you can either be listening to a podcast of The Archers, to good ol' Melvyn on 'In our Time' or even Vegan Freaks.

I wonder though what was the sound when the "'Muslim juror' listened to iPod under hijab" as reported in The Times a coupla weeks ago. Apparently she now faces jail for this.

In the meantime I am delighted to announce that I too am giving the iPod another chance. After my long lasting railings and wailing about the demise of my first one way back in 2004 (after only using once) I took my courage in both hands and accepted a gift from TT...

Actually I love it. I am just putting fast music on it as it will be my companion as I attempt to shift the lard from my body down at the gym. It can clip onto my great big trousers which I hope will get baggier and baggier.

So wearable technology for the naughty juror - subverting the image of the benign, pure, innocent , veiled and oppressed female; for the business man who wants to pretend to hide his funky identity under his suit ... and then there's me at the gym. Listening to music liked by the 'woman of a certain age' down the gym trying to stave off middle age. (Alongside rows of other wobbly ladies on a Sunday morning.)

Well. Technology does help blend the boundaries of our lives in many different ways. The 'digital divide does exist, but it is certainly not a clear cut line through society and as participation widens and uses become more complex, theorists need to stop trying to put forward simple arguments about the impact on society and the self.

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