A forecast on the future of wearables

As Google Glass gains momentum (including all the media buzz about it right now), companies and researchers are trying to decide what will be the next big breakthrough in wearable technology. MIT Technology review talks about the challenges we face when bringing these new products to market and forecasts the future of wearables by painting a picture of siginificant growth over the next 3 years. "Juniper Research expects nearly 15 million wearable smart devices (including glasses, health and fitness monitors, and other devices) to be sold this year, amounting to $800 million, and nearly 70 million to be sold by 2017. But the field remains experimental, and it’s still not certain what form most wearable computers will end up taking.

We’re just starting to see the early adopters of wearable computing wandering the streets gazing through Google’s head-worn computer or staring down at their Pebble smart watch. But a slew of researchers are already hard at work figuring out what will come next. Among the more outlandish ideas these researchers are experimenting with: sensors embedded in clothing and teeth, and—oh yes—a wearable computer designed just for dogs.

After languishing in research labs for years, wearable computing is suddenly a hot topic in technology circles. The introduction of technologies such as the Pebble watch, fitness-tracking devices like Jawbone’s Up, and Google Glass, which is currently available to developers and is slated for public release next year, have ignited demand for more wearable gadgets." Continue reading on MIT Technology Review...

Image (1978-1980 and now) source includes a nice history of wearables


Always-available natural user interfaces

I met with Desney Tan at Microsoft Research today, who walked me through a few mind-blowing demos and prototypes he has recently developed. One of his prototypes demonstrates the capabilities of using on-body musclecomputer inputs that can be integrated into garments. Listening to Tan articulately describe a bloom of possibilities and how he sees the evolution of interfacing was incredibly inspiring. Just imagine the potential.

Read Tan's publication for more info.