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Futuristic necklace turns light into jewellery

A new kind of jewellery uses a pico projector to create an interactive play of light across the wearer's neck.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
2 min read

Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

When is jewellery not jewellery? Why, when it's made of light instead of jewels. However, just as jewels catch the eye by sparkling, Neclumi by Jakub Koźniewski and Piotr Barszczewski at Poland-based new media art and design collective PanGenerator catches attention by interacting with the wearer.

The wearable adornment in its current stage consists of a pico projector, attached to the wearer's chest via their clothing, and a smartphone app, which connects to the projector via HDMI cable.

Using the app, the wearer can change the settings on the project, using the smartphone's hardware to interact with the body in one of four ways.

A setting called Roto uses the phone's gyroscope to react to the rotation of the wearer's body, rotating a band of pinprick light around the neck, with a light "jewel" spinning in the centre.

Movi reacts to the body's general movement using the phone's accelerometer. This could be anything from swaying, bending, jumping -- a curve of light at the throat moves like a hammock with the motion of the wearer.

Airo uses the phone's pedometer setting to react to the wearer's walking speed, creating an effect that looks like droplets of light are being pushed towards the back of the neck by air movement.

Finally, Sono uses the phone's microphone to react to ambient sound -- including the wearer's voice.

"Given the rate of miniaturisation of the picoprojector technology and observing the trend of wearables treated more as jewellery and fashion accessories rather than just gadgets, we predict that wearable projection and projection-based jewellery become a reality in a few years," the team wrote.

"We're currently committed to create a standalone version of the project and we're opened for funding and collaboration."

You can sign up for updates on the Neclumi website.