Wearable Computing: Look, Ma. No hands!
Do you remember those little Bluetooth headsets some people use to talk on the phone while continuing their regular day? Imagine that, times a million. Google recently unveiled its newest project: augmented-reality glasses.
The video uploaded recently shows a man going throughout his day, but instead of pulling out his phone, putting in the pass code, finding the app, and doing what he needed, he simply tells his augmented-reality glasses what to do.
The New York Times article on the glasses said, “The glasses are the company’s first venture into wearable computing.” Wearable computing, if that doesn’t send a shiver of sci-fi ecstasy down your spine, then I don’t know what will.
The glasses apparently would allow the user to access applications for weather, communication, photos, maps and GPS, and even video chat. Using these applications with vocal commands allows users to not only keep their hands free, but also continue on their busy days without interruption.
With every technological advance we have to deal with the same question: Does this quicker, simpler connection to technology and the Internet isolate us more? Some people feel these glasses will have a similar effect to iPods, and even back to the old Walkmans, where the user can plug in and ignore his or her surroundings in favor of the technological world. Will these glasses put us behind a lens of technology or allow us to more quickly deal with our online needs and free up time for outside activities?
Certainly no one has the answer, yet, but as with everything, the answer is the same: sometimes, for some people, in some ways. Everyone uses their technology differently, and this will be no exception. Some will use it to stay constantly connected so as to more closely merge their Internet life with their physical one. Others will just use it to more quickly keep up with communication and then use the apps reasonably as they go about their day.
No matter which camp you choose to join or whether you choose to be somewhere in the middle, this new device truly is an exciting one. It brings up memories of science fiction galore. If you are truly a nerd, the first thing you’ll do with your glasses is measure people’s power levels.