This London Design Studio Wants to Make Intelligent Data More Emotional

By Sophie Curtis on February 19, 2015

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In a digital society where over 7 billion mobile devices are owned and interactions occur in the digital, XO have developed an emotional technology platform 'XOX' as a way make intelligent technology more emotional.

Benjamin Males, co-founder of XO, operates in the interdisciplinary grey area between science and art. Having graduated from Imperial College London with a degree in mechanical engineering, specialising in nuclear reactor technology, he then went on to join The Royal College of Art. Combining an advanced understanding of the physical world with the sensibility of product design, Benjamin has quickly become a leading figure in the Hybrid Design community. As a classically trained engineer, Males is able to lead the development of the XO products ensuring that the highest level of technical sophistication is achieved whilst still maintaining the affordances of fashion and design.

At the Internet of Things Summit, London, Benjamin will present an overview of XO, it's portfolio and methodology, and and their work with Hybrid designers to make science fiction into science fact. He'll also will demo the aforementioned XOX sensor, which allows show designers and producers access to the audience's intimate data, on himself and test subjects from the crowd, live streaming their data will be alongside his in real time.

We caught up with Benjamin ahead of the summit to hear his thoughts on the progress of IOT technologies:

What do you feel are the leading factors enabling advancements in IoT and wearables?

There are a number of factors that are enabling advancements. The development of low power and high performance micro controllers enable wearables to do more and catch up with advancements in cloud computing and IoT infrastructure. There is no point having smart spaces and places if there are no smart things and we believe wearables will account for a lot of the meaningful connected things.


What is currently being developed in your field that will be essential to future progress?

Development in flexible and stretchable electronics is key for us at XO as we start to push against the physical boundaries of electronics in garments. We believe there will be exciting developments in printable and plastic electronics, especially in batteries and power distribution.

Which areas do you feel could benefit from cross-industry collaboration?

The standardization of protocols across the industry is important to enable new technologies to talk to the existing infrastructures and other devices.

What developments can we expect to see in sensors and textiles in the next 5 years?

We will start to see sensors that are woven directly into the fibers of textiles and fit more comfortably into our wardrobes. With advancements in speckled and distributed computing smart fibers will emerge as computing moves from the desk, to the pocket, to the write and ultimately on (and in) our bodies.

What advancements excite you most in this field? 

I think the ability to pair wearables with remote computing will allow our bodies to be connected and computing in ways we haven't even thought about yet.

The Internet of Things Summit is taking place in London on 12-13 March. For more information and to register, please visit the event website here

Design & UX IoT Connected Devices Wearables Smart Materials


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