If technology excites you just as much as it excites me then you will be looking just as ridiculous as I will be when the recently demoed Google Glasses hit the consumer market. This product and others like it are heralding a new era in Wearable Computing. Welcome to the future – already.
At the recently concluded Google I/O conference, Google co-founder Sergey Brin with the help of a few of his adventure seeking friends demoed Google Glasses Live to a packed audience at the Moscone West. The demonstration was nothing short of spectacular. Even though Google says the product is still about a year away from going commercial, the fact is that we are already in the age of wearable computing and at the moment Google seems to be leading the way.
From the hallowed corridors of MIT Media labs – who have been at the forefront when it comes to experimenting with wearable computers – to Google glasses, wearable computers have often been at the center of epic discussions. What’s more interesting is the fact that almost always the mention of wearing a gadget generates just as many frowns as it generates smiles. But the sad fact that most of the wearable computing devices have met with mediocre or disastrous consumer market fate, says a lot about how we as consumers perceive such products.
Most of the attempts at making the computer wearable have been utter failures mainly due to consumers not being able to find use for them in their daily routines. Therefore if you go by shikharnomics (the science of judging whether a product would succeed or not) I say if they really want us to wear electronics on our skin they need to come up with a product that doesn’t kill us with radiation, a product that doesn’t make us look stupid and a product that finds a way to get things done, only then would these James Bond-ish gadgets find a way to please the average consumer. Until that happens wearable computing might continue to be the stuff of Hollywood folklore.
Let’s have a look at some of the interesting products that didn’t do too well for various reasons and some others that are merely concepts as of now. Let us know in the comments if you would wear any of these to work or whether you think they are still eons away from being called true blue consumer products.
Certainly the images above range from the possible to the sci-fi. But then about 20 years ago, who would have thought you would be reading this on something known as a Tablet computer that brings all the information in the world to you in the comfort of your living rooms and that is 1/100th the size of the ENIAC and a 100 times more powerful than the first commercial computers a few decades ago. The human mind is where all improbable possibilities lie.
With their awe-inspiring demonstration of Glass, Google are trying to send us a message. Sergey Brin can’t be spotted without the glasses anymore, perhaps that’s what he and his innovative bunch want the rest of the world to do – adopt the future, wear our computers.
End-user warning : Getting punched in the face just got a whole lot expensive.