Social Fabrics: Wearable + Media + Interconnectivity

Speckled Jewelry comprises five wirelessly networked neckpieces for a friendship group. Built at the workbench and deliberately merging traditional craft techniques with emerging technology, each piece incorporates a prototype wireless sensor node or "Speck," which acts to locate and identify other specks within a range of approximately 20m radius. This information is then visualized through five dedicated LEDs, which flash at different rates to reflect three social distances. These are distances at which ways of greeting have been observed to change: intimate (under 30cm), social (30cm to 1m), and distant (over 1m through a limit of 20m). These distances accord with Edward T. Hall's observations and identification of proxemics (The Hidden Dimension, 1966). When wearers of Speckled Jewelry observe the flashing, they can choose to act on this information or not. The jewelry is the first successful application for Speckled Computing developed by a research consortium of five universities in Scotland, and related to the Smart Dust project ( The vision of this research program is the development of a 1mm cubed programmable sensor node, deployed in large numbers and capable of self-organization.

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Updated 22 July 2009