Repost from www.fastcodesign.com
Fitness trackers, email-alert rings, bracelets that tell you how much sun you’ve gotten: your average wearable is good at conveying information and not much more. But in the hands of Neri Oxman, an architect and founder of the Mediated Matter research group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wearables aren’t just passive lifestyle devices; they could generate the food, energy, light, and oxygen to keep us alive.
In a series of concept wearables that augment human biological systems, Oxman implants synthetically engineered microorganisms in custom-designed vessels. Worn externally, these devices—collectively known as the Wanderers: An Astrobiological Exploration—create the resources that an interplanetary traveler would need to survive in other climates. “Our goal was to design wearables that could have a symbiotic relationship with the human body,” Oxman says.
There are four devices, and they’re modeled after the digestive, nervous, skeletal, and integumentary (hair and skin) systems. Each offers the biological counterpart to the classic life-sustaining elements of earth, water, air, and fire, with different microorganisms implanted in the device’s 3-D printed vasculature.