City of design day sixteen – wearable memory

Friday, 11 November 2023

Wearable Memory from Ana on Vimeo.

Created by Fanke Peng, Wearable Memory is an interactive design system that allows elderly person experiencing age-related mental illness to experience autobiographical memories through artefacts and photos from their past. The system can assist some of our most vulnerable members of society to reclaim their sense of identity, within their culture and community.

Wearable Memory consists of three key elements: the cloud on which personal photographs are uploaded; a Bluetooth device (in this case, Estimote Beacons or stickers) which is encased in a wearable laser-cut brooch, pendant or bracelet, and smart digital screens; which are located in public places such a bus stops, squares, and in participating businesses. When the Bluetooth device comes within range, the digital screens will receive and display the associated personal photo album from the cloud.

Wearable Memory also has the ability to send important location information to family and carers, which is potentially life-saving for people experiencing the advanced stages of age-related metal illness.

Although still a prototype, design approaches like Wearable Memory have the potential to revolutionise aged care and our response to age-related mental illness. By enabling elderly people at risk of social isolation better access to and engagement with public spaces, Wearable Memory can contribute to healthier, happier and more integrated communities.

City of design day sixteen - wearable memory