From Iron Man To Invisible Man: Wearable Tech 2.0 Is Here (VIDEO)
It's hard to imagine wearable technology entering the mainstream. Sure, gadgets that slip onto your body, like Google Glass, the computer-enhanced eyewear with a built-in camera and wireless connectivity, let you boot up without a desk or outlet. But the truth is, most wearables seem, well, unwearable.
That's according to Sonny Vu, the founder of Misfit Wearables, who joined other makers of wearable technology at a dinner hosted by the Free Enterprise Tour during its stop in San Francisco.
"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," Vu said.
Fortunately, Vu added, things appear to be changing. "We're no longer trying to make things that make you look a little different, but make you look cool," he noted. "Maybe Wearables 1.0 was about making you look like Iron Man and Wearables 2.0 is about making you look like Invisible Man, where it's fitting into things you already have."
That was at least part of the thinking behind the Pebble, the much-ballyhooed "smart watch" that blew up on Kickstarter and recently became available at Best Buy. Asad Iqbal, who runs partnerships at Pebble, argued that the beauty of his company's product is that it moves smartphone features onto something most people already wear, a wristwatch.
But wristwatches weren't always mainstream, Andrew Warner, a cyborg anthropologist in attendance, pointed out. "The widespread adaption [of wristwatches] took a long time," he said, "because men once believed it to be a girl thing," preferring instead to don pocket-watches.
While wearable tech is nothing new, it's everywhere this year. UK-based Juniper Research says that 15 million wearable computing gadgets will be sold this year and expects that to increase to 70 million by 2017.
If such predictions prove precient, the notion that computerized eyewear is something only tech savvy elites wear may soon become as outdated as the idea that watches are for girls.
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