With the world’s giant plunge into Smartphones, we are emerged and constantly staring into our mobile devices—absorbed by the screen. Researchers note that Smartphones are almost never more than three feet away from its users. So why not just WEAR your mobile devices?
Wearable computing is a broad term. Technically, a fancy electronic watch is a wearable computer. “But the ultimate version of this technology is a screen that would somehow augment our vision with information and media,” according to a blog from the New York Times.
Over the last year, Apple and Google have secretly begun working on projects that will become wearable computers. One idea is a curved-glass iPod that would wrap around the wrist; people could communicate with the device using Siri, the company’s artificial intelligence software. But, if you think about it, Apple is already encouraging us to wear our ipods on our wrist—just check out the Nano model. Looks like a watch face!
Michael Liebhold, senior researcher specializing in wearable computing at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, Calif., predicts that the next step in technology is the blurring of the real and virtual worlds. Over the next 10 years he envisions that people will be wearing glasses with built-in screens and, eventually, contact lenses — with working displays.
Google has already jump-started Liebhold’s vision with its glimpse of “Project Glass,” sleek wrap-around Internet-connected glasses.
Wearing the glasses could turn the Internet into a tool in the same way that our memory is a tool now, making the line between human and machine blurred.
The possibilities are endless, just think: What if you could instantly see the Facebook profile of the person sitting next to you on the bus? Read the ingredient list and calorie count of a sandwich by looking at it? Snap a photo with a blink? Look through your wall to find out where electrical leads are, so you know where to drill? Have the directions to your destination appear literally before your eyes?
These glasses can do anything a smartphone or tablet computer does now —and then some. Google’s “Project Glass” also poses challenges to safety, privacy and fashion sensibility. Further, Constant Twitter feeds, and weather updates from “always on” smartphones are already leaving people with a sense of information overload. But at least you can put your smartphone away. Having all that in front of your eyes could become too much.
Google has not given prototypes out to the public or announced when we can first buy our “Project Glasses,” but the company tends to come out with new products fast. It is estimated about six months to a year before broader tests are coming, and a year or more for the first version of the product.
“It’s coming. Whether Google is going to do it or someone else is going to do it, it’s going to happen,” on technology analyst Rob Enderle said. “The question is whether we’ll be ready.”
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