RE: Technology penetration

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Fri Nov 17 2000 - 19:11:58 MST

Anders Sandberg asks,

> Although lately I have begun to think that wearables may never take
> off. If PDAs manage to continue improving their interfaces and
> usability, then what is the use of a wearable?

Wearables should take off as soon as:
        (a) you don't look like a poorly designed borg wearing one;
        (b) really good HUDs are out (full resolution, non-occluding);
        (c) power requirements are so low or tiny batteries so good to make
it reasonable to have fuller functionality;
        (d) wireless internet is a LOT faster than today;
        (e) reasonable powered voice recognition and interfaces;
        (f) good key and selection input;
        (g) all of the above;
        (h) none of the above.

The difference between a wearable and a PDA is that the wearable is always
on, hopefully somewhat context aware (where you are, what you are trying to
do, what the local telecom/compute resources are), and doesn't require you
to pull it out or hold it in your hand. The goal is to get to the point
where the computer is merely part of you and acts as additional associative
memory, compute resources, tie in to the e-community and so on. Eventually
the PDA becomes a wearable becomes embedded hardware. Another possible
solution (or another way of getting part of the goodies) is to embed compute
resources everywhere along with some means of recognizing the current user
and pulling in the corresponding context. This is ubiquitous computing.
Personally I have too much of a drive to own my own hardware (and hack it
and its software) to want to go the ubiquitous invisible computing route

- samantha

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