Ready to Wear: A Rhetoric of Wearable Computers and Reality-Shifting Media

SKU: 978-1-60235-400-5

Isabel Pedersen

New Media Theory
Series Editor: Byron Hawk

Information and Pricing
978-1-60235-400-5 (paperback, $27); 978-1-60235-401-2 (hardcover, $60); 978-1-60235-402-9 (Adobe eBook on CD, $20). © 2013 by Parlor Press. 195 pages with illustrations, notes, and bibliography.

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What Other Are Saying . . .

Ready to Wear: A Rhetoric of Wearable Computers and Reality-Shifting Media surveys an immense range of emerging technologies, most of which have not even been mentioned in existing scholarship on rhetoric and new media. Pedersen performs a much-needed expansion of the field’s radar in an era of rapid innovation, planned obsolescence, and mind-blowing prototypes. —John Tinnell, University of Florida


Ready to Wear: A Rhetoric of Wearable Computers and Reality-Shifting Media is a book about the future but geared to the present. More and more, we are asked to adopt new or future technologies before we ever see, touch, or experience them. This rhetoric of innovation and adoption goes beyond commercial advertising. Emergent or disruptive technologies are circulated and explored in social media, inventors’ blogs, news sources, popular culture, films, YouTube clips, TED talks, Kickstarter, and countless other media venues, often long before we get our hands on them.

Ready to Wear: A Rhetoric of Wearable Computers and Reality-Shifting Media explores how and to what ends wearable inventions and technologies augment or remix reality, as well as the claims used to promote them. As computer components shrink and our mobile culture normalizes, we wear computers on the body to create immersive experiences. Isabel Pedersen asks and answers questions that animate everyone: How is this augmented digital life construed and contextualized, and in what ways does it define our identity? What’s at stake in the arguments for wearable computers? What posthuman world does this rhetoric envision? Pedersen’s answers to these questions are provocative and timely.

About the Author

Isabel Pedersen is a Canada Research Chair in Digital Life, Media, and Culture and an Associate Professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Currently, she holds a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Grant for her research into reality-shifting media. She studies how computers and gadgets worn on the body frame reality for the wearer and alter the ways that people interact with others and participate in culture. She has presented at numerous academic conferences and published articles in international journals, including Semiotica, Social Semiotics, Biography, and Continuum. She has been interested in human-computer interaction ever since she spent her youth playing Pac-Man in the Yonge Street arcades of downtown Toronto.


List of Illustrations
Introduction: Rhetoric, Reality-Shifting Media, and Imminence
Chapter 1 Mobile Devices, Movement, and Myth
Chapter 2 Transparency, Nanotechnology, and the Rhetorical Justification for Invisibility Inventions
Chapter 3 Interactivity, Wearability, and the Rhetoric of Proposed Brain-Machine Interfaces
Chapter 4 Augmented Memory, Digital Life, and Computers that Promise to Remember Everything
Chapter 5 Carryable Technologies, Participatory Culture, and Rhetorical Transformation
Works Cited

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