What was science fiction a few years ago is quickly becoming reality with many devices coming onto the market changing the meaning of what it is to be connected.
A recent string of announcements and rumors about wearable technology may, or may not, cause a huge shift in the way we communicate and receive information.
Among the devices causing a stir lately is:
Watches, for many people, are an accessory their grandparents wore. I haven’t worn one in years because my phone/tablet/computer/car/coffeepot are all able to tell me what time it is. Apple is reportedly ready to change that by introducing a device that will communicate with the iPhone. What will it do? Who knows, but if it can displays things such as email, texts, videos, weather or photos on your wrist, it will be a huge hit and likely another Apple device everyone thinks they need about five minutes after they know it exists. Apple is not commenting on the story, which normally means they are about to introduce it.
This is a device you wear as glasses. You can speak commands to it to display and do certain things. Things such as maps are displayed on a tiny screen a few inches from your eye. You can also instruct it to record and share both videos and photos. Google is currently doing a lottery of sorts where you have to explain what you would do with the product. Google will pick the best of the group and allow those people to buy the devices for around $1,000. The early adopters get to use it first. It will likely be cheaper when it becomes available to everyone.
Google was also showing off a Google Shoe recently at a tech conference. The shoe is designed to talk back to you – encouraging you to “get moving” for example. They claim they are not going into the shoe business, but they weren’t going into the glasses business until they developed Google Glass.
The Bluetooth earpieces people use with their smart phones have been in use for a while, but are mostly limited to making calls.
Of course people have been using and wearing their smart phones for years. Tracking workouts, for instance, is a very popular use of iPhones and other smart phones.
The new stream of wearable products that will hit the market will certainly be a hit to many and irrelevant to most. It will be interesting to see if they are actually useful or are simply impressive examples of conspicuous consumption.