Wearable technology has to evolve away from bulky devices, and ergonomically adapt to clothing and the body.
Seeing someone walk by wearing a plastic band on their forehead and large augmented reality glasses or coming across a person at a zebra crossing fiddling with a four inch screen attached to their forearm makes us think more of cyborgs than humans. Today, wearable technology is not as obtrusive as the first prototypes were, but it still needs to improve. After a futuristic and enthusiastic youth, design is a key factor for the devices of the future. The more devices blend in with potential users’ clothes and accessories, the quicker they will be adopted.
To charm the consumer market, one of wearable technology’s priorities lies in becoming invisible and disappearing in a person’s clothing or accessories, as its name suggests. In this way, consumers will be more likely to use it and make it mainstream.
“I think a lot of the wearable tech we see is designed by Silicon Valley males for Silicon Valley males, and there are a lot more people in the world than Silicon Valley males,” said Sonny Vu, founder of Misfit Wearables in a talk about these devices. With his experience in the sector, Vu distinguishes between two ways of building this technology. “Maybe Wearables 1.0 was about making you look like Iron Man and Wearables 2.0 is about making you look like Invisible Man,” he says.
The fact is that there’s a type of wearable devices that really stand out on anyone who wears them. The futuristic impression that smart glasses can cause, with a module attached to the arm or around the lenses, is startling at first glance. From here, what initially startles us becomes extravagant and captures everybody’s attention.
Something strange at first sight
One of the most popular wearable tech devices is also one that will not go unnoticed among passers by. Google Glass has come a long way since the first smart glass prototypes, but userswill inevitably stand out with a lens frame protruding several centimetres from their faces.
The next step for Google Glasses would be to become discrete enough to fit in with the everyone’s general idea of what a pair of glasses should look like. That way, they would only be noticeable on close inspection.
Wearable Technology: just another unobtrusive object
However, today there are already some devices that blend in with users’ clothing and accessories, so that when anyone sees them, they don’t notice anything out of place. The Pebble smartwatch combines a simple design with the technology for smartphone synchronization.
A device like this does not clash when worn on the wrist, whereas the first “Zypad watch” gave quite the opposite impression.