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Science and Media Museum

Wearable tech and acrobats at the next Lates event

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Students from Fashion and Production Arts courses at Bradford College will be unveiling prototypes of wearable technology at the next National Media Museum Lates event on Thursday 8 December 2016 (18.30–21.30—free to attend).

Lates: Wearable Tech is the latest after-hours opening at the museum for adult visitors. It will showcase the work of first year students who have been working on a project to embed technology devices in clothing, including zip-activated electronics and LED buttons.

Additional highlights for Lates: Wearable Tech include an acrobatic performance by headline act The Travelling Light Circus. There will be an abundance of colourful illuminations in motion as dancers present a ‘Glow Show’ in the museum’s main foyer.

Visitors will be able to take part in a DIY project to make their own wearable devices, with the help of soldering irons, PCBs and LEDs which assemble into a flashing badge. Non-soldered felt brooches with LEDs are also available to make (free).

Bradford-based company McLear Ltd will be demonstrating their ‘smart ring’—a hi-tech device worn on fingers, billed as ‘the world’s first NFC (near field communication) ring with payment technology’. With capabilities similar to NFC smart phones and contactless credit cards, the NFC ring brings new meaning to digit-al technology.

Elsewhere the museum’s collection will be showcased as historical wearable devices from the 19th and 20th centuries are displayed, with the museum’s collections department on hand to answer questions. Objects include a ‘detective’ waistcoat camera from 1886, and an early version of a watch camera from 1906.

Researchers from the University of Manchester will be testing videogames that can be controlled by the mind via a range of wearable technologies designed to interact with the eyes and brain; budding cyclists can try out a wearable heart rate monitor during a virtual stage of the Tour de Yorkshire; and Sarah Kettley from Nottingham Trent University will be giving an insight into the exciting world of e-materials. 

Back by popular demand is the silent disco (previously seen at Lates: Music), which will take place in the surroundings of the 19th century photography on display in the Fox Talbot: Dawn of the Photograph exhibition. The silent disco is the perfect way to warm up for the official Lates Afterparty at the Delius Arts and Cultural Centre in Bradford (21.00–23.00), organised by the UnCommons project run by Recon, Bradford Threadfest and M@BU (Music at Bradford University).

Georgina Cooke, Lates programme developer at the National Media Museum, said: 

“This is a particularly exciting Lates as we have worked directly with Bradford College students on an element of the programme for the first time, and this has been included as part of their course project. It is also the first event to feature an official after party. Wearable tech is such a fascinating subject I’m looking forward to all the activities taking place, and particularly the Travelling Light Circus and the silent disco in our Talbot exhibition!”

Lates: Wearable Tech is free to attend.