Who wants to lug around a pocketfull of data, just in case you decide to show them to a colleague? The solution is to take something something that you are already planing to carry with you, and make it more useful. I’ve been trying to come up with data physicalizations that that I can comfortably wear; one of the first things I’ve tried is to make a belt buckle of our malaria data. The notch at the top indicates the beginning of the infection. The graphs progress counter clockwise. The outer ring is parasite load, then granulocytes and finally reticulocytes as you move inwards. The belt shown below is made of steel with a polished bronze finish. I could probably double the number of parameters but I like the pattern that emerges with just three.
A belt buckle presents the problem that once you bring it up, everyone ends up staring down there; that could be awkward. If you really want to show the buckle to someone, you will need to take it off, which will be problematic if you really need the belt. Maybe I should save the buckle to answer extra questions, like those just-in-case slides we put at the end of our talks.