Co-evolving Affective Wearable Computer

Rachel Zuanon

This paper's goal is to present and discuss the proposal of "co-evolutionary affective wearable computer." This machine's practical application is to enable man-man and man-machine sensory-motor communication processes, specially the creation of voluntary and involuntary movements. The importance of this research lies in promoting another communication channel that transposes the speech and visual levels. This process encompasses the following operations: capturing the computer user movements (or the thought of a movement); coding such movements into sensory-motor stimuli and transmitting such stimuli over to the body of said user or another interactor. To this end, this computer is formed by an intelligent surface that involves it: electrodes for capturing myoelectric signals from the user's brain; electrodes for electrical neuromuscular stimulation of the interactor in two technological communication systems; an associative one and an evolutionary one. Such surface changes its color and shape, coevolving with the person wearing it during the interaction process between them. Designed for use in two or more individuals, the computer operates this communication process among people who are physically close or distant. In both cases, movements (or thoughts) are sent from one body to another through a network. When the technological operation system is associative, the thought or the very movement made by the computer user is transmitted so that the same interactor or another one who's connected to the net feels it as sensory-motor stimuli and fully executes it. That is, in this instance, that computer acts as a sensory-motor communication device designed specially for affection exchange among geographically separated individuals. While in the evolutionary instance the information (movement or thought) performed by the computer user is coded, learned and evolved in the technological system. So the stimuli to be received and executed as movements differ from the initial information introduced into the system, since it shows new patterns that characterize the co-authoring process between man and machine. Thus the computer works as an artistic movement creation device; with a view to dance, performances and theater practices – in this creative and collaborative process between man's intelligence and the machine's.

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