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With The End of the World Comes… Wearable Technology

/ Thursday, 13 December 2012 / Published in Articles

It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

… And I feel fine because the new technology is really cool. The future is here, and although it hasn’t over taken us in one day, technological evolution has happened quickly, in fact, in lightning speed compared to human history or the history of planet Earth.

Much like end-of-the-world predictions, the new era of technology has been dreamed of and envisioned for years. We used to call it sci-fi, and now it’s just – life. The idea of wearing glasses that would have built-in computers so that the screen could be seen virtually in 3D has turned into Google Glass, or what is otherwise known as Project Glass.

Google Project Glass, by Google X Lab, Google’s secret facility that reportedly develops everything from self-driving cars to these futuristic glasses, unveiled prototypes last spring, in 2012. With Google Glass, smartphones will be outdated because the glasses themselves will display similar information, only now you will be hands-free. You are able to give voice commands to enjoy Internet from within your glasses – and soon enough, from your contact lenses. Mass market release is scheduled for 2014 and the glasses should cost around $1500.

Today, on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, seven days before the end of the world as claimed by doomsday theories and ancient prophesies, or, more accurately, the end of the Mayan calendar, Fox News states that “The end of the smartphone era is coming.” Not that sales for iPhones, Androids, and even Blackberries are not still soaring, just that with all the new technology being developed and introduced so rapidly that is gearing away from the traditional hand-held phone, our smartphones may not get the attention they do now, and eventually, well…

… like everything else, they will have lived their life, not unlike the old-fashioned corded phone. Books have lived on, in spite of tablets and Kindles. Possibly the new smart glasses will be too ridiculous to wear – but not likely. Smart glasses look not much different than regular reading glasses, except for and small Bluetooth-looking device that is part of one of the armbands. And remember, these are only the first. Soon enough they will become as stream-lined, attractive, and comfortable as any other glasses. They may be so desirable that many people will have several pairs to coordinate with their outfits.

Our wardrobes, in fact, are already taking a turn to include wearable technology, and claim to do everything from promoting increased activity and healthier eating habits, to managing weight and facilitating better sleep.

When you put your Nikes on, you can now put on a Nike Fuel Band to go with them that will track your activity.

Fitbit boasts a family of wireless trackers meant to be worn and designed to motivate you “to stay active, live better, and reach your goals,” including “The One” and “Zip.”

Jawbone is a company that sells devices for a “holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle,” as if technology is as natural as organic vegetables. They offer a wristband called “Up” that monitors everything from your activity and sleep to your food and your mood. Then “Up” takes that information and formulates it to offer insights to help motivate you.

Wear one of the Jawbone devices such as the Jawbone “Era,” like you would any Bluetooth device, only the “Era” is poised to out-do Bluetooth technology. It utilizes a MyTALK platform, enabling it to download apps and customize features such as caller ID. It sends emails and texts as you talk and is the first headset ever with built-in accelerometer MotionX capability. Just ShakeShake or TapTap and you can answer your calls.

Pebble E-Paper watches are already prototyped. These watches are the most highly funded Kick-Starter yet, with over $10 million in venture capital and pre-orders. They appear clunky, but with downloadable watch-faces, internet apps, and the ability to connect to both iPhones and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, plus alerts to incoming calls, emails, and social networking messages such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as activity tracking offered by other wearable devices, these E-Paper watches just might be the new must-have.

For those who grew up watching The Jetson’s, a futuristic cartoon television show, the idea of common households giving orders to robots was fantastical, yet we live in the fantastic now with voice activated systems that are incorporated into wearable technology. And while there are now robots in our world also, it seems maybe we’ve gone one step further than the Jetson’s characters in our continuing obsession with being connected. We can wire ourselves up and plug ourselves in. Maybe we will become the robots… or maybe December 21, 2012 will pass and we will wake up to find we already are. 

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