Re: Cyborg Seeks Community

From: Emlyn (
Date: Sat Nov 18 2000 - 08:33:06 MST

> Anders writes about:
> > > >
> > I think this is so far perhaps the most
> > convincing practical step towards exploring what it would be like to
> > be posthuman. The technology is clunky, but it is a forerunner in the
> > same way Douglas Englebart's demonstration of a primitive mouse
> > interface, cut-and-paste, hypertext and computer network in the 60's
> > was a forerunner of today's interfaces and networks.
> I agree, this is a fascinating concept and one which I would like to
> explore as the technology becomes cheaper. The article mentioned Doug
> Platt, an Extropian who was active in this area. Several years ago at
> a party at Max's house I met Doug (I think it was Doug) who demonstrated
> his wearable equipment, a PC with a chord keyboard he could wear on his
> belt, and a head-mounted display (HMD).
> > Of course, the big question is whetehr wearables will be the way to
> > go, or if PDAs will out-compete them. In the same way, good wearables
> > may block development of direct brain-computer interfaces beyond
> > medical use.
> With the Palm VII and WAP enabled Internet phones, wearables may
> seem obsolete, but the display bandwidth provided by these devices is
> so limited that it restricts their usefulness. A wireless internet
> connection feeding a HMD would be far more useful.

Have you seen the prototype HMD which is just an add-on to standard glasses,
in which the display is projected into what looks like a .5mm square on one
lens? Apparently the display appears to float in space about 2 feet away.
That kind of device plus wearcomp, plus possibly voice recognition, makes
PDAs look like the pieces of shite that they really are.

Really, I think that PDAs and mobiles are precursors to wearables. I assume
that we'll be looking at discrete, wearable devices which communicate
wirelessly, and keep you fully hooked-in. The PDA will move toward a full
personal computer in processing power, with display seperating into HMV,
discrete speaker in ear, guts of the thing on your belt (or in your pocket,
or whatever). Maybe you keep a handwriting tablet until voice recognition
gives better input capabilities. Certainly, those twiddlers have got to be
an intermediate phase!

And of course, the mobile integrates into the PDA (perhaps a modular add-on
for a while, still usable stand-alone), taking advantage of the ear-speaker
and voice pickup already added to the "PDA".

I don't think these little toys will block wearables. I think people love
their PDAs and Mobiles, but do struggle with their limitations. These
devices are the beginning of wearcomp.


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