Artist Heidi Hinder has developed wearable technology that allows its users to transmit money using physical gestures - hugs, high-fives, handshakes and even tap dancing.
Photo: Jonathan Rowley
The project, entitled 'Money No Object' relies on RFID tags and readers that are worn by the merchant and customer and transmit payment data when physical contact is made.
In her project brief Hinder says the work questions concepts of value, explores alternative economic ideas and considers a new significance for material and physical currencies 'in an increasingly immaterial world'.
Says Hinder: "Increasingly, with the rise of digital currencies there's less opportunity to interact and communicate with humans...so the idea with the physical gestures and payment, the hug and pay and handshake, those bring back a certain physical interaction and opportunity for humans to engage in touch, which often digital technologies doesn't allow."
The artist suggests that her concept could be put to use in a cultural institution, as a reinvention of the clear plastic donation box. Visitors could buy wearable objects from gift shops, load them up with credit and use them to make purchases, "gaining some alternative emotional value to their payment transaction".
On her project's Web site, Hinder's latest update says that she is looking for funding to help her "continue with this relevant and timely body of research about money" and trial it in a museum or gallery.
In August, Money No Object
was awarded a grant by Awesome Foundation London. The grant will allow further user-testing of the project in a museum environment.