Essays on Technology and Culture

The Overwhelming Potential of Wearables

Those who thrive off social contact will love a wearable, but those already overwhelmed by Facebook and texting will find it tears at their solitude and sense of self. Both will be, in part, right. The device may be new, but those hopes and fears are old.

The Pocket Watch Was The World’s First Wearable a Tech Game Changer | Smithsonian

The whole piece is an interesting read about the role watches have played in culture. (Funny how wristwatches were originally a “feminine” thing, considering how the smart watch is so masculinized through its size.) I highlight the end of it here, because it encapsulates a big chunk of my skepticism.

The platonic ideal of wearable computing is omnipresence. At least I can put my phone in a drawer or on its dock on my desk. Once the battery problem is licked, and I have a communications device physically strapped to my body almost all the time, what happens then?

Whatever it is, it doesn’t excite me.