Report- Future Of Communication Technologies

The future of Visual Communication

As technology has advanced through the years we have used many ways to communicate; phone, skype, texting and photos. One aspect of comunication I am interested in seeing being developed in the future is visual communication. At present, instead of using just typing to communicate, such as texting and email, we have moved on to visual communication such as photos and videos.

The first and most powerful of visual communications amongst humans were cave paintings, petroglyphs and geoglyphs, which evidence has found that it was used up to 40,000 years ago for humans to communicate with each other. Visual communication over the years has moved from simple drawings, to taking pictures, to making videos and sending them to your friends. One form of visual communication I am very interested in seeing becoming reality is holographic communication.

The most advanced piece of technology we have right now on our quest to successfully inventing holographic communication is telehuman. Invented in 2012, Telehuman was created by researchers from the Human Media Lab at Queens University, Canada. ‘Why skype when you can talk to a life-size 3D holographic image of another person?’, famously said by Professor Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab. Telehuman ‘video conferencing pods’ are a step away from holographic communication. This piece of technology works using 6 Microsoft Kinect Sensors (motion sensors), a 3D projector, a translucent 1.8m tall cylinder and a convex mirror, which is a mirror with a curved reflective surface. Using this equipment, they have managed to create the illusion of someone standing in each of the pods using videos which are transferred into 3D form in each the pods. This means that each person can communicate with the life sized holographic image of the other as if they are standing right in front of each other, while they are really in two very different locations.

What I find interesting about this piece of technology which is still being researched and improved, they have already found another use for it, Bodipod. Just after the creation of Telehuman, the researchers working on the pod have come up with the idea of using it as a 3D anatomy model which can be explored using gestures and speech interactions.Using the waving gesture as you approach the pod, the skin of the 3D anatomy model peels off, revealing whats underneath such as muscles and organs. As you near the model, you can then use voice command, simply saying ‘show brain’, and the pod will zoom in on the model giving a detailed close up of the brain.

Unfortunately, like all new, developing technology, there are always a few issues to battle with. Delay in response from the sensors to the screens is a big issue beign looked at, as it becomes a big problem using this creation for smooth and easy communication.

As technology moves on however, I am excited to see this creation become a reality, to see it become a part of everyday life in the near future.


Bookworm Medal

‘Lace’ by Shirley Conran

 ‘Lace’ tells the story of the lives of a deep friendship of four girls, -Judy, Maxine, Pagan and Kate- which is later on in the book torn apart. The girls met at boarding school together, and grow up facing many different difficulties through each of their love lives and professional lives.  The book really looks at the typical behaviour of young schoolgirls who discuss their dreams of the future, and when they grow up, realise it’s not as simple as it seems. Each girl is very different in their own way, each with a feisty attitude and driven, making this book very entertaining.

The book is based on the four girls, who are forced to look back on the horrible details of their lives when they are faced with a mistake of the past, which walks into their lives demanding information to which one of the girls is her real mother, Lili. The four girls share a very deep secret, one which is the heart of the book, and when Lili shows up and confronts them with the famous line throughout the book ‘Which one of you bitches is my mother?’. The line immediately captures your attention and you are forced into reading the dirty details this novel gives. Each of the four girls comes across Lili throughout their lives, and each of the girls has a reason to hate her.

Lili is very different to the four girls- Judy, Maxine, Pagan and Kate are very elegant, sophisticated and successful women who were brought up with money.  Lili, leads a tragic upbringing of being adopted by a family who was looking more for a carer than a daughter, and was offered an escape by a man called Serge. Serge treated Lili well, lavished her with money so that she would stay with him and keep making him money as he realised Lili would one day become very successful, and exploits her so he doesn’t lose his chance in a share of the money. I feel Lili’s character is portrayed around the question ‘who is her mother?’ which on her journey to find nearly destroys her.

Lili looks back to the past to find out details of her mother, and narrows it down to the 4 school friends, and at the end of the book brings them together for an explosive end to the novel where she is told the truth.

Literary Review On Clothing For Outdoor Workers by Hannah Pexton

Literary Review on Clothing Worn By Outdoor Workers.


‘Indura Ultra Soft Flame Resistant Fabrics’ by Charles Parsons talks about how there is a high risk of electrical fire related accidents happening on the job. One of the main problems is the clothing, the article states that out of the 400+ accidents that take place, 80% of people received serious extra complications and infections due to their clothing catching fire. Parsons states clearly that it is not mainly the electric that harms you; it’s mostly down to the clothing catching fire. After researching these statistics, Parsons took on the task of creating a fabric that was fire resistant and reached all the requirements it was supposed to, such as proven protection, durability, comfort, and wash stability- meaning it will remain fire resistant and hold their shape and size for life. The required standards that the fabric is supposed to meet are not yet necessary; however Parsons took them into consideration when creating the fire resistant fabrics.

This is a very in depth article as Parsons talks of the research and tests that went into producing fire resistant fabrics, and the requirements it had to meet, and then tells us the many performance requirements it met when the product was finished. Parsons points out towards the end of the article some issues with other fabrics that should be asked about and researched, and reasons why fabrics should be tested before use. For example, is the fabric guaranteed fire resistant for life? Parsons tells us that not all fire resistant fabrics will stay that way over a period of time after they has been washed, and for workers to stay safe they need to get a guarantee that the treatment on the fabric will not deteriorate over time. The Indura Ultra Soft Fabrics are guaranteed fire resistant for life. I feel this is a reliable conclusion as the fabrics don’t even go through the proper tests until it has been industrially laundered over 50 times, therefore showing that unlike ordinary fabrics, they still do the job after more than just a few washes.



‘Spray-on Clothing Becomes a Reality’ by Ian Sample is an article about the new spray-on fabric created by Manel Torres, a Spanish fashion designer, who teamed up with scientists at the Imperial College London to create a spray which, when making contact with the body, creates a seamless fabric. Torres says he wanted to create a material which was quick to put on and comfortable.  It took Torres 15 minutes to spray on a t-shirt onto one of his models for a demonstration; he wanted to create a way of putting on clothing that sped up the traditional way of constructing garments and materials. To invent the type of fabric that he needed to stick seamlessly to the human body, Torres says he had to look right back to the origins of textiles such as felt, which was a material similarly produced as the material is made out of thousands of fibres, bound together without being woven or stitched together.  I feel this is a good article to be looking at for our research, as we could look at the positives of what this could do for outdoor workers, such as making the fabric waterproof. Torres has researched and put onto a website a list of all the different possibilities this new invention could be used for, such as binding, lining, repairing, layering and covering. I feel this could be used as an advantage for outdoor workers as it could solve a lot of issues people have had, such as the need for warmer clothing (which can also be lined with the spray-on fabric for extra warmth or to make it more fitting and comfortable, depending on the job), if it were waterproof it would be a quick and easy way to waterproof your clothing you already have on so as the workers wouldn’t have the hassle with many layers.  I feel however this article was not very in depth about the product, it could have talked more about what other ways they could expand it, without further research, and what other areas they could cover by developing the product more. Such as medically, it could be used as dressings or bandages or even casts, which could also be proven useful in outdoor working.


I feel these two articles really highlight the improvements and development that people are putting clothing through such as the rigorous tests and meeting the high standards before they can even put the products on the shelves. However, due to health and safety, sometimes the standards keep getting changed and are getting harder and harder for companies to meet and keep up with. I feel that a designer teaming with scientists is a big step forward in developing clothing from a practical and comfortable point of view as they’ve come up with a faster and easier conclusion which could easily be incorporated into different situations and could be very successful. I feel the practical development of clothing as gone the same way as technology, everything is becoming smaller and simpler and easier to use.


Article by Charles Parsons – ‘Indura Ultra Soft Flame Resistant Fabrics’ (March 2010)-


Article by Ian Sample- ‘Spray-on Clothing Becomes A Reality’ (September 2010) –



Heyyy I’m Hannah Pexton !

I am from Glasgow and I am currently studying Textile design at Duncan Of Jordanstone Art College which i love!

Before i came to Dundee i did a portfolio summer course at the Glasgow School of Art in the summer of  2010, which made me realise design was what i wanted to specialise in in the future, so therefore i then completed my portfolio at my school – Hutchesons’ Grammar.