Some people are touchier about their personal space than others. Take me, for example. I like to think that I’m a fairly nice guy — no snarky comments from the peanut gallery, please — and I’m pretty personable once you get to know me. However, as soon as you break my “territorial bubble”, my first instinct is to run screaming for the hills. It’s never anything personal, and I do my best to keep it hidden from public view. I’m just weird, that’s all.
For those of you who simply cannot stand the thought of someone getting in your space, then Zac Ong’s shoulder-mounter laser system might be a wise investment. Using a rotating laser, the device creates a perimeter that can be seen by others. As soon as someone gets a little too close for comfort, a sensor built into the chest piece will activate blinking lights, effectively alerting the individual to their party foul. The closer the person gets, the more bells and whistles are activated. When all is said and done, the offender should have a pretty good idea of how the other person is feeling. Assuming the shoulder-mounter laser didn’t already give that away, of course.
Here’s what the official description on Vimeo says of the invention:
Repel is an interactive wearable art that simulate the situation when our personal space is being invaded. This artwork tries to leverage on the current crowded environment that we are used to and hope to raise awareness among people.
Repel is an arduino and electronic project, it made used of infrared sensor to trigger all the electronic component that user are wearing, such as DC motor, Servo motor, LED animation and etc.
On the user’s left shoulder, Repel will emits a red laser beam that rotates 360 degree to create a user personal zone. In the event when there are strangers invaded the zone, it will trigger the infrared sensor that are located on the user’s chest. The sensor will then trigger a series of actions. For example, the laser will rotate, the LED that signifies the heartbeat will blink and the button will spin. The closer the stranger is to the user, the faster the rotating speed will be.
For overall, Repel is trying to project a person’s uncomfortable feeling when there is someone close to them by using some electronic components. Such as the laser represents restriction, the red LED represents heartbeat and the button represents the user’s emotion.
The only thing missing from the contraption is a method of retaliation. I think a giant boxing glove attached to a spring that erupts from the wearer’s stomach would be a fitting addition. To have a look at Repel in action, check out the embedded video. For more information, swing by Zac Ong’s official website.