Boston December Awesome Fellow: Lauren McCarthy

December 8, 2009

I’m happy to announce that Awesome Foundation Boston has chosen its December Fellow! This month’s grant goes to Lauren McCarthy, who specializes in the development of Tools for Improved Social Interacting.

What does that imply? Lauren writes, she’s working on a series of “various wearable devices that use simple technologies to condition the behavior of the wearer to fit better with expected social behaviors” These include:

A Happiness Hat (built) – which drives a metal spike into the head at a pressure inversely proportional to how much you’re smiling (seeing it in action is out of control – check out the video)

An Anti-Daydreaming Device (to be built) – a scarf that contains a heat radiation sensor that detects if the wearer is engaged in conversation with another person. While the wearer is engaged in conversation, the scarf will vibrate periodically to remind the wearer to pay attention and stop daydreaming.

And A Body Contact Training Suit (to be built) – a suit that requires the wearer to maintain frequent body contact with another person in order to hear the world around her. If the wearer stops touching someone for too long, all the surrounding sound will fade to static.

We’re glad to announce that she’ll be coming from L.A. out to Boston in January to debut her work and run a workshop/interactive event on social interaction technology. Stay tuned for details!

In the meanwhile, Lauren will be documenting and logging her progress online here. There’s also more details on how this stuff will work technically and more sketches available there as well.