Monday, January 21, 2013

Steve Mann

Steve Mann inside

This is Steve Mann, the father of wearable computing.

This is actually a fairly tame, friendly take on the man. (The mann?) Amber Case asked if I would give him a try, although I had painted him two years ago. He made a little cameo in our first book -- though we didn't necessarily label him as such.


When I look for pictures of Steve Mann I tend to gravitate towards those taken in the eighties and nineties, as those are much more interesting to look at. And as the wearbles become sleeker and sleeker they seem to be...less obviously separate from the body. And that troubles me somehow, fills me with discomfort. Steve Mann himself kind of fills me with discomfort. If you do a Google image search for him you find a lot of photos of him shirtless. Why?

Steve Mann is a tenured professor at the University of Toronto's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. I think this means he is called "Professor Mann," which makes me very happy. It keeps us clear on which side of the spectrum he is -- man or machine.

Steve Mann outside

Though, he may be sliding around that scale. The latest version of his computerized eyewear is permanently attached to his skull. He isn't fooling around. He is serious.

If you introduce computerized prosthetics, don't they become obsolete just as fast as regular computers? Wouldn't they deteriorate faster than usual computers because you are wearing them out in the world? What do you do when it rains? Can you go camping? Can you lay down on your side?