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CLMN | Twitter in your mouth? Why?

01/10/2012

Twitter-enabled tooth implant. Read that again. Call me old-fashioned, but I find no reason or motivation whatsoever to have the need to broadcast all across the Internet the number of times I’ve brushed my teeth today. Such is one of the rather banal applications of nano-technology shown at the Nano Supermarket exhibition during the Discovery Festival, this past Friday 28th at the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven.

Granted, the expo had some very interesting projects, like the use of modified algae for the production of electricity, as well as appliances that had antibacterial nano-screens. However, more than half of the product concepts presented seemed to justify themselves by a mere “I know what you think, but it has nano-somethings!”. What we need is to question ourselves, do we really need contact lenses which are able to change color? Or paper made from our cultivated dead skin cells? Or even mood-responsive make-up?

With features that have no justification other than being fashionable, many of the “innovations” presented are not solving any issues, and seem to be thought as extra means to brag, like a jacket that changes color according to the amount of calories burned. Having very tiny gold flakes does not qualify a lipstick as a technologically forward product. Difficult to manufacture? Sure. Discussion provoking? Definitely, albeit not for the reasons Nano Supermarket defends. Twitter-enabled tooth implant. How about no? Technology should not be justified by its components, but by its utility.

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