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Technology & Engineering Sensors

Sensing Machines

How Sensors Shape Our Everyday Life

by (author) Chris Salter

Publisher
MIT Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
Category
Sensors, Human-Computer Interaction, Social Aspects
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780262046602
    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price
    $39.95

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Description

How we are tracked, surveilled, tantalized, and seduced by machines ranging from smart watches and Roombas to immersive art installations.

Sensing machines are everywhere in our world. As we move through the day, electronic sensors and computers adjust our thermostats, guide our Roombas, count our steps, change the orientation of an image when we rotate our phones. There are more of these electronic devices in the world than there are people—in 2020, thirty to fifty billion of them (versus 7.8 billion people), with more than a trillion expected in the next decade. In Sensing Machines, Chris Salter examines how we are tracked, surveilled, tantalized, and seduced by machines ranging from smart watches and mood trackers to massive immersive art installations.
 
Salter, an artist/scholar who has worked with sensors and computers for more than twenty years, explains that the quantification of bodies, senses, and experience did not begin with the surveillance capitalism practiced by Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google but can be traced back to mathematical and statistical techniques of the nineteenth century. He describes the emergence of the “sensed self,” investigating how sensor technology has been deployed in music and gaming, programmable and immersive art environments, driving, and even eating, with e-tongues and e-noses that can taste and smell for us. Sensing technology turns our experience into data; but Salter’s story isn’t just about what these machines want from us, but what we want from them—new sensations, the thrill of the uncanny, and magic that will transport us from our daily grind.

About the author

Chris Salter is an artist, Codirector of the Hexagram network and University Research Chair in New Media, Technology, and the Senses at Concordia University, Montreal. He is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance (MIT Press).

Chris Salter's profile page

Other titles by Chris Salter