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Future Jewelry

             While traditional jewelry probably won't change much in the near future, there are many new technologies available now and soon that promise to change the way we look at jewelry. Nokia, for example makes a pair of necklaces, called the Nokia Medallion I and NM II, with a sort of pendant that can carry several JPEG images and display one of them on a small liquid crystal display. One can use them to display a number of different things, such as your mood, your loved ones, or even your favorite food. And because they can receive images directly from Nokia cellular phones and digital cameras (via PC or Nokia cell phone), you can display any picture you just took.
             Another promising device is the Story Bead. While it isn't intended for mass production and sale, it is indeed real and happens to be the fruit of some research at MIT. Story Beads are aimed at preteen girls. The idea behind it is to bring technology closer to females while bringing together two activities girls commonly take part in - making bead necklaces and making stories. The way it works is simple: you connect a bead to a PC, upload a few images with some text, and then put them on a necklace. There's a central bead that links the beads together and displays the story stored on them. The beads can be traded and their piece is added when added to the necklace. The position a bead is in on the necklace directly corresponds to its place in the story. This system is far more interactive than either beads or stories alone and also offers a new way for girls to socialize. Personally, I feel that while this in itself is promising, it has the potential to appeal to any age, gender, and race, as well as having applications far beyond just storytelling. Older people can take photo album slideshows everywhere they go. Younger people can use a similar system to easily swap music or movies. Professionals could use such a necklace to store documents and reduce the size of the briefcase they"d need to carry.

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