June 1, 2013

Will successful Wearable Technology be 'Invisible' ?

Wearable technology is one of the latest fad in the consumer electronics world these days and everyone is contemplating how it'll change the way we consume and interact with data. 

From rumors of Apple iWatch  to speculations on Google Glass, anyone even remotely associated with technology is watching this space very closely.

If so called 'wearable technology' is sounding too geeky, I guess Bluetooth headset would ring a bell. No doubt what we are talking here is far more advanced but these headsets would be one of the primitive versions of WT that every one of us has used and could relate to.

And if Google Glass doesn't sound too familiar, am sure you'd remember this.

Even though there is a long way to go before these devices will go mainstream people have already started renouncing them due to various privacy and security reasons. Some plainly find them funny. 

Which isn't new, like Gandhi said, 
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. "
I still remember the how camera phones were considered to be a huge dent in privacy. They were banned in gyms, which included names like Gold’s, and scandalous MMSes took the concerns to a new high. But later on, the benefits outshined nuisances and now smartphones are a dent in balance-sheet of companies that relied solely on cameras.

For that matter even when Bluetooth headsets were launched, people wearing them were ridiculed, but they brought a significant improvement in productivity by freeing up one hand. And that means a lot, when you have just two.

Although am extremely bullish on the future of wearable technology but for it to really go mainstream, it has to be 'invisible'. As we all so fond of buzzwords, I prefer calling it 'Invisible Technology'. 

Take Google Glass for an example. There is not doubt about the paradigm shift it’ll bring in the way we live, but it looks like 'Pager' of 2020, that might die even before it's born.  Apart from being impracticable to wear it all the time even at a cost of looking stupid or wannabe, I might not want to give up my RayBan for it.

Again taking a clue from MI, how about building something like this.

I understand that there might be greater privacy concerns but I think in order to take the next leap, wearable technology has to be invisible. Something that we don’t have to wear additionally, something that won’t be visible to others. It’ll be a part of things that we wear normally. Something wont make us look like a Glasshole.

What say?

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