Saturday 16 March 2013

Wearable technology: a glimpse into the future or just another passing fad

It might be too early to start writing obituaries for portable technology but it is becoming easier to argue that the next wave of technology innovation has already arrived.

The idea of wearable technology is not a new one. It dates back to the age of the Casio calculator wristwatches and is born out of the vision to seamlessly interweave technology into our everyday lives – the ultimate goal being to make technology pervasive and interaction fluid.

Like any other wave of technology, it has as many critics as it has champions. While the early adopters are chomping at the bit with the thought of what is yet to come, the sceptics are pointing out the loopholes and their concerns already.

One of the main points they bring up is that of battery life and how these gadget will fare when smartphones are barely over the line in terms of solving that conundrum. Another is that of privacy and just how much information about us these gadgets will reveal to the people we pass on the street.

Despite some negative press, I find it difficult to overlook the opportunities presented by wearable technology. It promises benefits to personal safety, health and a host of other plus points. It also represents the latest and most advanced convergence between that of the human body and technology, and nobody knows quite where this will eventually lead us.

Inventors are always looking for 'the next big thing', and more often than not it turns out to be anything but. This is not the first time we have reached what many believed to be a sea change in technology, but when you consider the players involved this time around, the knowledge and means at their disposal, and the rate at which technology has been moving forward over the last few years, it is not so fanciful to believe we could on the threshold of something groundbreaking.

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