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Wearable Technology: Is It That Awesome?
Posted on December 2nd 2013
This is one of those posts where you are pretty sure that you are going to pick up some flack from futurists and the like who are all ready to essentially lay down their lives to wearable technology and any other invention that starts bringing us close to post-humanism.
Let me start by saying that I am not completely averse to wearable technology. I think there are many useful and innovative wearable electronics, either in the form of wearable computers or monitoring devices. Let me continue to say that I am a Google fan. I essentially owe my livelihood to Google (this is not an agreement to pay Google my salary). I do, however, have a problem with Google Glass. (Cue the shocked gasps and shrieks of incomprehension.)
My argument is this: wearables such as a Polar wrist watch and chest strap have a specific purpose. They measure my heart rate while I am exercising so that I can track my progress in terms of fitness and also be sure that my heart is not about to explode in my chest when I run up too steep a hill! Combine this with a running app on my smart phone (such as Runtastic or Endomondo) and you can keep a track of more specific details such as distance, elevation and pace.
Let’s look at Google Glass in particular, and as a side note, Samsung Gear; while they both have the ability to augment reality (particularly Glass) and to offer a (excuse the pun) new lens on things, are they not removing you from that reality?!
When using Google Glass you are automatically going to have information beamed directly into your eyeball. How are you going to concentrate on anything else? It’s bad enough that we struggle to hold a decent conversation today without looking at a text, sending a tweet, Instagramming a photo… Now we are going to have to contend with a whole new level of integration that I am not sure humans are ready for.
I think wearable technology is awesome when it does not interfere with your life and remove you from it. When wearable technology seamlessly integrates and solves a specific problem, then it is unquestionably a good idea!
The real question I have is: How are we going to have to adapt and alter our social construct to make way for wearable technology to be permissible and accepted?