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3D-Printed Dress Exposes Your Skin As You Share Online Data

"x.pose" is a response to the idea that "in the digital realm, we are naked and vulnerable."

It goes without saying that we have more control over what we exhibit on our bodies than what we share online. I can put on pants in the morning, but if I make a slip of judgment and send that lewd photo that took me hours to angle properly, ultimately I won't know who truly has access to such goods. x.pose is a wearable technology project that explores the balance between physical and digital exposure through a 3D-printed dress that reveals more and more pieces of the wearer's skin as he or she consumes and produces more data. 

Created by Pedro Oliveira and Xuedi Chen for NYU ITP's thesis show—the latter who once 3D-printed accessories made of live moss—the project was inspired by the idea that "In the digital realm, we are naked and vulnerable... to policies that grant service providers explicit rights to harvest and utilize personal data on a massive scale." In response to our lack of privacy control and open data emissions that are hyper-exploitable, Chen designed a dress that goes "a step further and broadcasts [my data] for anyone and everyone to see." 

x.pose works through a self-created mobile app and server that collected the artists' cell phone data over a month, using Node.js and PhoneGap. Chen then made a 3D mesh top made with Processing and Rhino, based on info gathered from her data set. Next, the app and server incorporate real-time data through Bluetooth and Arduino that together control the clothing's opacity levels. The more information that is "passively generated," the more the wearer's skin is subject to public gawking. In a video documenting the piece (below) the clothing top flickers like lights in a high-rise, threatening to expose more skin at a moment's notice.

As our geo-tagged tweets and online shopping habits get scooped up by privacy-invading organizations and corporations, the more naked we truly are, the creators of x.pose believe. Now if a dress like this ever gets sold through the Internet, it'd be a meta-disaster our wardrobes and data plans couldn't handle.

See some images and a video of x.pose below and head over to the project page for more info: 

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