The Telepresence Frame being developed by the Design Interactions department at the Royal College of Art acts as a kind of dual-purpose baby monitor and digital death mask. The gilt frame displays the vital signs of a distant loved one on life support, then records the final moments for continuous playback after death.
The whole thing is a bit macabre. What I like about the Telepresence Frame is the way it takes a novel system of representation (recognizing a family member or friend through the pulses that emanate from his or her heart, rather than the light rays that reflect off of his or her face), then literally frames it in the conventional way of a standard photograph or painting. I suppose the reason that the project seems grisly is that there’s no reason a frame like this should have to focus on death. A visual version–in which an ailing subject were filmed in the hospital, then that film were played in a loop after death–would be equally bizarre.
(via We Make Money Not Art.)