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Georgina Bradbury

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What is the future of wearable technology?

Wearable technology is an undeniable trend and many brands such as Nike, Apple, Samsung and Google are all bringing out products to satisfy consumers growing awareness and demand for new products.

A lot recently has been publicised about smartwatches in particular due to the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch and the new Apple iWatch- does this mean the future of wearable technology is all about wrist based devices? Can wearable technology cross over from being an fashion accessory to being a functioning part of our everyday lives? What do you think will happen in the future of this industry?

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    Oct 26 2013: There are multiple aspects to this question. One question is what wearable technology will be used for. That cannot be discussed in one post, one thread, one web site, or one century. Here are some ideas I came across: http://www.businessinsider.com/future-of-wearable-technology-2013-5?op=1.

    Another question is how people will interact with devices. At some point, keyboard was the way (I guess, inspired by the typewriter machine). Then mice came along. Then touchscreens. The next step, I've heard, is voice. Devices become smaller and smaller. They consume less and less power and can afford to stay on for hours. Speech recognition software improves. Now seems to be the time when it is possible to make small devices that will be always on and listening, waiting for a key command like "OK, Glass".

    I'm very skeptical about it and would like to know other's opinions. I see several issues:

    1. Privacy. One thing is poking finger into a touch screen in a public place, the other is talking to the device. Wouldn't people look like lunatics talking to themselves all the time?

    2. How practical is it? Compared to poking an icon, sending and processing a voice command seems to take a lot more time, even with the best processing speed and the best voice recognition accuracy.

    3. Did I mention privacy? Currently NSA *only* scans our emails and phone conversations. With wearable devices always on and listening, they will scan EVERYTHING people say, even to themselves.

    Any thougts about this trend?
    • Oct 26 2013: You've brought up the absolute key points of wearable technology, but I honestly think that what may dominate over your points is the consumer itself.

      Take for example phones, they are increasing in power and merging with the newer technologies and everyone today, especially youths, are replacing their phones every 1 to 3 years. It is simply a must in this day and age, it is the trendy thing to do and everyone wants to be caught up with the newest technology. I don't see this stopping any time soon.

      If such is the case, phones will probably end up as some sort of holographic screen, which may be implemented onto clothing.
      Or, if the physical form retains its shape and if you could do anything with just your voice, then I'm sure people would have some sort of microphone in or attached to their collar so they could activate anything they wanted with ease on their phone.

      As you said it goes into many different areas, but the main point is if it will make things easier for the generations to come (especially for things such as social networking and taking pictures) then I'm sure it will be implemented in clothing and it will be a casual thing. In the sense that it will become a part of all of the newer generations lifestyles.

      In a way it seems nice, the beginner steps to that futuristic land we can imagine the one with floating cars and the likes.
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        Oct 26 2013: I agree. In the link that I posted, there is a good analogy with a watch. Clocks went from an expensive device installed only on city towers to something we can carry in our pocket and, eventually, on our wrist. They've become fashion items and symbols of status. Same is happening with other gadgets. Yet, I know many people who do not wear a watch - they simply don't need it and find it inconvenient to wear one.

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