The future of wearable computing will create opportunities to merge our digital and physical lives into a more cohesive, meaningful whole.
It finally happened
Apple created something straight out of a Dick Tracy comic. Apple is quite comfortable starting from second or third place in a product category that’s already received a lot of attention from lesser-known innovators; and yet their entry validates this nascent computing category.
People now live a second, digital life through their modern devices. And they want their digital selves to share a bit more time and space with their real-world counterparts. We think the future of wearable computing will create opportunities to merge our digital and physical lives into a more cohesive, meaningful whole.
Sensing and surfacing are the new shorthand for wearable form and function. Yet the early forms of wearables are still searching for purpose and value.
Looking ahead, we see a few emerging categories for the future of digital wearables.
Biofeedback and Mechanical Coaching
Wearables will take on new forms that are less decorative, more integrated into our body and with us more permanently. They will shed their LCD Screens for more diverse input/output models that more quietly parallel with our own subconscious inner dialogue.
Sensing created the Quantified Life, which now leads to coaching. We expect the next development will take us from coaching to training or augmentation. Wearables will provide a force feedback for life, or even a supernatural power.
We envision plenty of wearables crossing the line from sensing to supplement. Extra muscles for better performance.
Social Media Ported to Physical Experiences
We believe in the near future, entire value streams will break free from smartphones and become wearables. However, more than just umbrellas that tell you rain is coming, we are talking about apps with deep reach into our digital lifestyles.
Imagine a flexible display integrated into a shirt showing your latest pin. Pinterest becomes a Pinteresting Shirt. Imagine the geo-location and communication of Tindr built into vibrating undergarments, Tindr becomes Tindrwear (and we will just leave it at that). Instagram Sunglasses will display images that tell your story, share your mood, and add style to any situation. And lastly, Furries can have wearable appendages that give the user animal like characters. ears that move. tails.
Kineseowear provides user notification, geo fencing, direction, and proximity.
Kineseowear affixes as tape to be worn for weeks at a time, charges inductively via chargers that can be in beds or chairs, and communicates by silent and nuanced shoulder tugs.
The arms of Kinseowear contain synthetic muscle, while its heart is computational power, battery, bluetooth and sensors. This wearable works with other computing devices like smartphones to deliver cues to the wearer, through patterns or intensity of sensation. Tugging right or left could deliver directions. A subtle vibration could convey that another of the Harnessed tribe is nearby, or the wearer has just covered her fifth mile. This quiet delivery allows the wearer to develop a haptic consumption of desired wearable features—notification, geo fencing, direction and proximity—in a nuanced fashion.
The form is suited for wearing sensors close on the body and for longer periods. Kinseowear is durable and waterproof. The wearer can swim or work out while harnessed, yet it fits demurely under a shirt or dress.
More than mere accessory, the Harness is a cultural fashion statement. When others see your Harness, they know you have embraced the digital lifestyle and are receiving silent cues about those around you. You are harnessed, and you want them to know that.
OuijaBand can steady a user's hand or provide haptic feedback.
OuijaBand uses high-RPM flywheels to exert kinetic influence over a person’s body, allowing this wearable to steady a hand or give force feedback. Such output is more subtle than an exoskeleton, and instead helps to refine and coach a wearer’s dexterity.
The OuijaBand can steady a hand, guide an artist’s drawing of a perfect circle, or coach the acquisition of a new skill, like long-exposure photography or use of a 3D printing pen.
At the extreme, OuijaBand could pair with larger computing systems to prevent a hand reaching for a cookie until 300 calories of exercise have taken place.
LaLaLa totally redefines the human aural experience.
As small as an iPhone earbud, pop the gListen into your ear and, using BlueTooth, sync up with your Spotify music connection. Make playlists for your life. Your own theme song. But with LaLaLa, you control what shines through: drown out when your parents give speeches, translate your Spanish teacher as she’s talking to you, and have a history of everything you hear.
Hear life as you intend it.
Utilizing an advanced microphone array and motion sensing ring, LaLaLa allows you point, isolate and adjust the volume of everything around you. Loud talker sitting next to you on the restaurant? Muted. And for those willing to fully ‘plug-in’, our new beta-tested word canceling technology* completely removes or replaces words and phrases you simply don’t want to hear. LaLaLa also provides object recognition and gesture control. Utilizing the built-in camera, LaLaLa can take pictures, provide object recognition of things you look at, and watch your hands for gestures. These gestures can then be translated into commands.
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