Computronium Jewelry

Computronium is a material hypothesized by Norman Margolus and Tommaso Toffoli at MIT, the idea being that it is "programmable matter" or matter which computes, you could argue that both a computer processor and the human brain are forms of computronium.

COMPUTRONIUM

The premise of Computronium Jewelry is a society where the need for faster electronic decision making is no longer a mainstream concern. In this society computronium is sought after not for its utility but for the idea of the act of computation itself. The concept of electronic problem solving has developed an evocative quality and devices containing it or seen to contain it are worn by individuals as a means of moderating their identity, lending a sense of efficiency and competence to the owner.

COMPUTRONIUM

Computronium jewelery on its dock. The user puts these devices on each morning and back on their induction charging plate each night. The devices work away silently over the course of the day with no direct or indirect benefit to the user. It might be there is an option to task the work of these devices towards a cause of the user's choosing, but it is a purely symbolic gesture of philanthropy and the actual contribution made is infinitesimally small.

COMPUTRONIUM

Its possible that devices warmed by the heat of their function might be seen to contain a stronger or more pure computronium than cooler models, leading to a trend towards gaudy and ornamental heat sinks, like a diamond on a band of precious metal. Personally I would hope this is not the case as I have always enjoyed the more restrained aesthetic of the original models.

This idea is interesting to me because our society is undergoing a similar shift in values, with even the cheapest phone or laptop being more than capable of the majority of everyday tasks the desire for ever speedier and more powerful devices is fading from public consciousness. Most individuals no longer care that a machine boots in a quarter of a second as opposed to half second, or that our phone is an octocore instead of a hexacore. As the search for more speed and power contracts to a niche concern interest in the qualitative elements of our interactions with technology are coming to the fore.