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Are wearable devices a next revolution in IT?

Glass logo

Google Inc. is aiming for commercial release of its Internet-connected headset/eyeglasses, dubbed Google Glass, by the end of 2013.

(Source: Metro Toronto)

Glass logo

A prototype of the device has been available to app developers since June. Google Inc. has encouraged public to try the new gadget through a social media contest called “If I had Glass” giving “bold, creative individuals”. Juniper estimates the smart wearable market will be worth $1.5 billion in 2014 compared to the current $800 million.

Interestingly, the concept of a wearable device is not a new idea. The Shannons and Thorps tested the cigarette pack sized analog device yielded an expected gain of +44% when betting on the most favoured octant in Las Vegas in the summer of 1961. Google is continuing on the path to make a feasible smartphone replacement that’s marketable to the masses. But Google Inc. is not the only one pursuing this idea. One of the researches working with wearable devices is Steve Mann from UofT, recipient of 2004 Leonardo Award for Excellence.

Mann’s prediction is that with a wearable device such as Google Glass, a really personal device, users will have a way to enhance the memory retrieval. As he said “Personal computer and person become one and the same.”

On the other hand, users may worry of wearing clunky or noticeable gadgets that rely on gestures and voice commands. They may wonder how do they will feel performing this gesture in public or what do they will look like making gestures. Would it slow down the hype of wearable devices?

The wearable devices may definitely gain their popularity among gamers. We see their big potential in learning as well. A wearable device seems to be a perfect medium to provide a scaffolding and instructions for various tasks performed by the learners independently outside of the classroom.

Are wearable devices a next revolution in IT? They are interesting addition to the currently existing technology. Devices such as Google Glass bring the technology closer to the user leaving only a small step between us and invasive technological enhancements of the human body. It may not be a revolution but will make our lives more interesting.