Fabric of Digital Life or 'Fabric' is a research database and archive created by Dr. Isabel Pedersen and members of Decimal Lab at Ontario Tech University in Canada. Fabric uses digital humanities, digital rhetoric, and popular culture theories and methodologies to inspire its collection. Through a customized metadata scheme and interface, international researchers and curators collect and catalogue digital artifacts surrounding the emergence of very personal and embodied technologies that promise to alter everyday life. Fabric fosters a community of individuals that contribute to it, not only to its content but also to its development, including University of Minnesota, Temple University, Texas Tech University, and Canada Science and Technology Museum.

Fabric of Digital Life Archive is inspired by a famous prediction made by Chief Scientist at Xerox Parc, Mark Weiser, in 1991: “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it”. We are beginning to see a critical mass of early inventions working toward this end and one goal for Fabric is to reflect this on phenomenon.

Since 2013, Fabric of Digital Life has provided a means to track the emergence of platforms of human-computer interaction (HCI), also called personal technologies, through the language of invention: inventors’ concepts, entrepreneurial adventures, science fiction films, art, events, military innovation, video games, government ambitions, patents, news broadcasts, blogs, and advertising.

Given this connection with digital life, the main categories Fabric follows are technologies that are carryable, wearable, implantable, ingestible, embeddable, and robotical. However, these kinds of inventions function in rich ecosystems with other emergent technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), smart homes, social media, internet of things, cryptocurrencies, AI assistants, biotech and so many other contextualizing technologies.

Fabric lets you explore the nature of emergence, the discourses that surround it, the ways we participate with it, and the rhetoric that helps engender it.

Use the Browse menu to explore items. Or, click on curated collections or HCI platforms on the right-hand menu. Search provides full-text search access to the corpus.

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