Wearable Tech

Posted by Flux on 

14 May 2013


What is trending now?

Wearable Tech.

The way we are interacting with technology is changing or will change dramatically in the very near future. Products are being developed, and some already out there, that are pulling the smart phone out from our pockets and making tech an ubiquitous part of our everyday lives.

Why is it important?

Let’s face it smart phones are as frustratingly invasive as they are fantastic. We are consistently pulling them from our pockets to check for a bite, interrupting our conversations etc.“The ultimate vision of computing at its best is when it’s part of life without interrupting life” says Mark Rolston, Chief Creative Officer at Frog.

Wearable tech aims to integrate technology seamlessly into our movements, when a device can sense what you are doing and give you the info you require or perform the tasks necessary without you have to tap away at a screen.

Let’s say you are wearing such a device.
1.    It recognises that you have now entered a clothing store.
2.    It detects you have picked up a pair of jeans.
3.    It sees you leaving the store.
4.    It deducts the applicable amount from your bank account (And at the same time deactivates the alarm tag on the jeans…of course.)

Wearable tech aims to make us human again, but invisibly integrating technology. Everywhere.

What is the butterfly effect?

Instead of having a constant beeping and ringing, these devices will rely on low level communication, some call phatic cues, similar to how we can read one another’s body language, where one look says it all. The trick will be developing effective low level communication for example subtle colour changes and varying vibrations.

Along with developing the most effective low level communication, seamless integration will be the name of the game. When we are able to combine our wearable tech with the ‘Internet of things’, where everything in your home from your washing machine to your toilet and your car is online, we will enter a new world. A bracelet that measures your heart rate and body temperature then orders the supplements your might need, a tv or music player that recognises what you want based on your neuro-activity, a car that adjusts its seating automatically by responding to the data in your earrings and sets the gps to your place work, simply because you are you, and you have an appointment on your calendar for 8am.

The pioneers and global hotspots?

The big players are of course at the head of the pack.

Google. Glass,  a small device that clips onto your glasses. It is basically a small screen and a camera and it is voice activated. It can take pictures, share pictures, give directions, send instant messages, answer questions, translate your voice and sense where you are and give you the information you might need. Unfortunately applications to test them for google are now closed, but Glass will be here soon.

Their talking training shoe, was unveiled in March, designed to motivate its owner to start moving. See the video here

Apple. Since the beginning of the year the internet has been buzzing with rumours of Apple designing an iWatch (or whatever it will be called). It is rumoured from being a seamless intergration with other apple products to having a possible flexible screen that snaps around your wrist. If it exists, it will have to be different than the already existing Pebble, a simple e-ink wrist watch, which connects via Bluetooth to your smart phone subtly notifying you of calls, messages and can be integrated into a ton of other apps, to be successful. If Apple, however, with the accelerometer technology to use movement for example to make something along the lines of Myo, an armband that lets you use the electrical activity in your muscles to wirelessly control your computer, phone, and other favourite digital technologies’, that would change the game completely.

At the other end of the spectrum you could also get wearable plush cat ears that move to show your emotion by recognising your brainwaves. Order yours here. You can pre order a wearable camera that logs your entire life in pictures, taking two 5 megapixel pictures every minute.

By: Pierre Du Plessis

About Pierre
Pierre is a communicator, a dreamer and a troublemaker. He loves how we are all connected in more astounding ways and more than we ever thought.
He is completely obsessed with life in contemporary culture and he wallows in new ideas and marvels at how they can restore and re – create our world.

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