PIX fuses fashion with communication
By Mike Hanlon
January 20, 2004
PIX is an unconventional product from an unconventional lifestyle company called Xenofreaks Inc. With PIX, Xenofreaks have hit on an idea that may change the way people interact with each other, especially those whom we don't know, but would like to. Communication and interaction is the basis of the new Korean product PIX, an interactive visual display device that has just hit the market. Also coined the "ego visualiser" by its designers, PIX could quite possibly pave the way in how we express ourselves through our clothes and accessories in the 21st century.
With its futuristic look, it is a stylish and visually arresting product that is powered by 2 AAA batteries using 177 high luminous LED's in a 15 x 15 matrix. The bright LED's form basic display patterns and moving animations that can be looped, scrolled and even waved. The latter, also known as a "swing sign", is a mode where images or text can be displayed "mid-air" by swinging the device back and forth in a motion not unlike waving hello or goodbye. PIX is light enough to hang around your neck like a chain, attached to a limb with a strap, placed on a hook on a wall or anywhere else you can think of. Indeed, imagination and self-expression are the keys to its use.
The most fascinating part of PIX is its ability to interact with other PIX users. The device does so by employing infrared-ray communication of user ID and icon comparison between other PIX devices, which allows users a new form of communication between individuals and groups.
So not only is wearing PIX a form of expression, but the capability of PIX as a form of communication is where the real potential lies.
The PIX displays its own set of patterns, text and pictures, although users are encouraged to create, design and edit their own pictures and messages and share these ideas with other users in online PIX forums. By connecting to the Internet or using MMS, data can be shared with other PIX users directly, as well as establishing relationships with people you may not even know. In terms of a social context, the designers of the PIX look to be angling the product towards the youth culture, which readily picks up on new fashions and trends. Indeed, it is stylishly designed, and with its bright and vibrantly moving LED display it certainly attracts immediate attention to itself and the user.
This would certainly make PIX a winner in nightclubs, chat groups and other places where people simply go to meet other people. In fact, it is designed to be activated with other PIX users and to search for icon "matches" on other people's devices. A user can also try "communicating" with other users, allowing a wireless ID transmission and stored icon comparison. However, the possibilities for PIX do not necessarily have to end on the dance floor. The interactive capabilities of the device make it ideal for business meetings, interactive seminars and workshops, as well as at "breaking-the-ice" situations like business fairs, carnivals and social events.
Networking would be made a great deal easier with one of these devices, as common ideas and interests could be displayed in a fun and effective manner. Establishing common aspects and providing grounds for conversation make the PIX more useful than just a regular fashionable accessory. And with its ability to edit and tailor graphics and text, PIX could easily be made to function in a very similar fashion to another interaction-prompting device...
Launched in July 2003, the PIX has already hit the Korean market, and it is expected to be successful in youth markets across Asia, notably Japan and Taiwan, although it is not yet available in Australia. Electronics in fashion accessories and clothing is not a new concept, although it is certainly an idea begging to be developed and marketed. Despite this, in the ever-changing world of fashion, one maxim seems to remain constant: You must be eye-catching. However, the PIX is more than just an expression of fashion or an eye-catching wearable electronic accessory, it is about communication and establishing relations.
For more information about PIX visit http://www.ilovepix.com/en