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Artist develops gesture-based payment technology

The wearable technology allows people to exchange money through handshakes and high fives

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Artist Heidi Hinder has developed wearable technology that allows users to exchange money through physical gestures including handshakes, hugs and tap dances. 

The craft-based project, dubbed ‘Money No Object’, relies on RFID chips worn by the buyer and the seller in rings or gloves to complete monetary transactions.

The artist developed the idea in Bristol through the Watershed Craft and Residencies Programme and worked with Pervasive Media Studio’s technology team in order to turn basic human interactions into monetary payments.

“My main aim was that any technology I incorporated should unite people, bringing them closer together by triggering some form of physical or emotional exchange between users,” writes Hinder in her research report on the Watershed website.

“I hoped that the crafted objects would not only raise questions conceptually about money and value, but also facilitate meaningful or thought-provoking human-to-human interactions, or sensory experiences, mediated by an appropriate form of digital technology, and embedded within a tactile, appealing and intriguing object, or series of objects,” she continues.

Hinder believes that her project could be used as a reinvented replacement for the clear plastic donation box.

She suggests on her website that visitors could buy a piece of wearable technology from a gift shop and load it with credit, before using it to make purchases “gaining some alternative emotional value to their payment transaction”.

Hinder is currently looking for investment in the idea to help her continue with the research and trial it in a museum or gallery.

Wearable technology is gaining an increasing amount of interest as a range of technology manufacturers aim to bring new products to market, including Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. 


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