Like Pearls by Morehshin Allahyari is an animated and interactive mash-up of the Farsi spam Allahyari receives in her mailbox.
The touchscreens used by smartphones can sometimes undermine the agility of these devices as they often require the use of both hands. But for the (many) people for whom the smartphone is an appendage of the body (as discussed in McLuhan), this kind of use can be very frustrating. Overcome by this feeling in the bathtub, the English artist and designer Dominic Wilcox invented a simple but brilliant idea: the (indirect) use of the nose. Although it’s the prince of smell, this sensory organ (like the entire surface of human skin) has properties that are close enough to make it work with touchscreens. Finger-nose is thus a simple prosthesis to lengthen the nose and make it usable as a finger on the touchscreen. It is essentially a handheld smartphone pen that is incorporated into a long nose made with plaster and fabric fibres that make the material slightly hairy and therefore more similar to human skin. The pointed nose has such an exaggerated length that it is able to reach the screen while being worn as a mask. Beyond the (hilarious) irony of this object, the operation raises a question concerning how interaction design in this case shifts its focus from object technology to the human body. Here through an implant the body is equipped to adapt to technology (and not vice versa), a technology that is so necessary than no one can no longer do without it, even in the bathtub.