The Internet of Consciousness explores the changing the landscape around altered consciousness and imagines a suite of products catered towards a user’s journey into Self. These wearables create experiences of integrating mind, body and spirit that are augmented into daily life through the designed wearable ecosystem, creating a new kind of altered experiential consciousness. It takes a self reflective, therapeutic approach to the pervasiveness of recreational and illicit drug culture in our society and reimagines technology of the body as physicalizing the hidden micro-expressions we carry and provoking us into new states of awareness.
To open up questions and research into consciousness and reality, the Internet of Consciousness (IoC) ecosystem serves an embodiment of explorations around the subject of consciousness through experiential objects, prototyping and systems design. It grapples with questions of subjective reality and perception, new understandings of altered and psychedelic states and imprints of experience on one’s consciousness. Research and study was devoted to determining how recent breakthroughs in consciousness and adulteration in drug use can be used as tools and affordances for design. It offers up possibilities for designing experiences of the future, combining gamification, spirituality, bio-feedback data and augmented reality to create speculations on future living and consciousness.
The Internet of Consciousness uses several distinct theories and established bodies of knowledge to define consciousness. In order to look at “altered consciousness” or the consciousness induced by drugs, beats or meditative states, research was analyzed and conducted through an exploration of its cognitive and subjective lenses, relaying great insight into the capabilities of the human mind that can potentially go beyond that of science and medicine. The IoC system of wearables operates on bringing together these separate theories on consciousness into a holistic picture, one that organizes these states of conscious experiences of life into orderly levels and groupings. Much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, human consciousness reality can be expressed in a similar way. At the bottom lies our physical experiences. Such physical states can be attributed to understandings of a material nature (from basic survival to written language to recognition of shapes and patterns). This state of reality is also tied to a sense of self, but especially tied to experiences of a bodily and physical manner (birth, shaping of identity, social dynamics and self-confidence). Moving up the pyramid, lies the understanding of consciousness from a more emotional, connected and spiritual way.
The body of research has accumulated into designing 6 wearable devices that mimic the state of awareness that is achieved under altered conscious states. Each wearable device emphasizes the general experience and symbolic representation of its corresponding level of consciousness. Designing specific kinds of wearable technologies allows for opportunities to utilize technology to better understand different kinds of consciousness and using such wearables as tools to learn, explore and play with what is possible at the edges of our cognitive minds.