Google introduced the prototype for the smart glass recently and to much fanfare. But I think it’s a bit early. If you look at the way technology progresses, you can’t skip a step. PC’s had to come after Mainframes, and Mobile had to come only after PC’s were networked. The progression of technology looks like this:
Mainframes -> Personal Computers -> Networked Personal Computers (aka. The Web) -> Laptops -> Mobile.
Each of these new devices brought about new technologies that pushed the current of innovation further. For example, without laptops we wouldn’t have needed WiFi. Which would mean the devices that came after it (Mobile) would be severely limited.
Looking at Google Glass I see a huge problem. They’re skipping a step. We’re in the mobile era now or formally called “The Age of Ubiquity”. Connectivity is made wherever you might be. The only issue is that in order to gain connectivity you have to reach into your pockets to retrieve that text, or email.
The next logical step is not Glasses, but a Dick Tracy like watch. We’ve seen some interesting early adoptions to this technology such as the Pebble. And we might see it soon from Apple.
The are many reasons why we would see a watch before a pair of glasses. First off, not everyone wears glasses let alone a clunky device that shouts to the world that you’re a big nerd.
A better reason is that the engineering in a watch is not that far off from the engineering of a phone. The 6th Generation Nano was basically a precursor to the Smart Watch, but it just wasn’t built to be one because you weren’t able to pair it with your Phone. But all the tech is there. A third party company even made a wrist strap for it so you can use it as a watch! Oh yea, and the Luna TikTok happened to be one of the highest Crowd Funded project out there. The highest? The Pebble of course.
So what could we expect to be seeing with Smart Watches? It’s important to understand that not all information weighs the same. A Youtube video requires much more participation from the user (What Marshall McLuhan defines as Hot Media). Whereas a notification that you received such as a text from a friend requires little to no participation from the user at all. So when we’re talking about a Smart Watch, the information we’ll be accessing would basically be information that requires very little participation from the user. And this is great because we’re currently stuck with having to stare at a tiny screen to get any sort of information while we’re out and about.
What’s important to note is that our Mobile Phones will still play a very integral role in our lives. I see our Mobile Devices as being the hub for our accessories to connect to (ie. Your Smart Watch!). My dad is currently installing security cameras in his house, guess how he accesses the Cameras? You guessed it, on his phone!
Honourable Mention: I’m Watch, an Android powered Watch.