Simulation and Augmentation: Issues of Wearable Computers
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augmentation, body, embedded computing, digital, personal technology, physical, simulation, ubiquitous computing, wearable computer
As the physical and digital worlds interact, some fields of technoscience have started to shift from an approach emphasizing simulation - in which the physical is replicated in the digital - to one focusing on augmentation, in which the digital is utilized to enhance the physical. A good place to study the implications this shift has on the individual is the field of personal wearable technologies. Here, the body is not simply extended by information and communication technologies (ICTs), but also becomes their intimate host. This represents a new step in the conceptualization of the synergy between individual (body) and technology (environment), and also affects the ways in which the role and nature of each actor are defined. This paper explores some of the theoretical re-orientations underpinning the development of wearable computers and how these shape the relationship between body and environment.