Originally Posted by ascii
Absolutely right. The watch seems like a logical place for the first-gen wearable computers because it's non-threatening, but I do wonder if some sort of eyewear might not take over once people are socially comfortable with such a thing.
I'm not convinced of the eyewear thing, either. I initially thought, "hey, I've spent the last fifteen years or so playing games like Halo with heads-up displays...wouldn't I find that useful?" But in a video game you're basically in a virtual cockpit, constantly engaged with immediate variables that require immediate information and feedback...the same isn't true of the average walk-down-the-street scenario. In fact, the entire purpose of a heads-up display is to connect you to PERTINENT information. The "pertinent information" of the average stroll through the city or down the street is primarily sensual...more likely than not you already know where you're going, and are much more naturally concerned with what is right next to you, in front of you, beside you. I mean...that's why you're there. I understand why you need huds-up displays in video games...the "pertinent information" is "will I be dead in two seconds? Are there people behind me enemies or friends? Will I be out of ammo in five seconds or two minutes? Is there ammo in the immediate vicinity? Who has the damned flag?" The entire purpose of a huds-up display is to deliver information immediately *because that information is immediately necessary*, as though that information were as immediately necessary as combat information in a video game. I can see this being useful IN COMBAT, but walking down the street? To "remember names of people I met at the party last week? Seriously? Sorry, but I'm not going to wear glasses so that I can remember somebody's name, and the information I want immediately delivered to my brain as I walk down the street is not the weather...I only need to glance at the weather ONCE a day, and usually only once every three days. Do I need to know where a store is...every visual second as I walk towards it? When I no longer need the few pieces of information "glass" is capable of giving me...do I need to have it on my face? Annoying. Here's the "pertinent information" of walking from point A to point B anywhere: "I'm here, I'm thinking about stuff...my dog, my day, thinking about my girlfriend...oh, I need to buy X, need to be done by x oclock, that avengers movie was cool...." In other words, pertinent information is the stuff my mind wanders through...not weather searches, the location of point B, etc. It's not that this information is "more human," but that it is the stuff that is more pertinent. When do I look up information? Usually when I'm relaxed on my couch or bed. When I'm headed to point B...I'm headed to point B, not browsing.
I love this technology...will probably even buy "glass" or whatever smartwatch comes out (eventually...if it's cheaper than currently advertised)...but I don't see any of this becoming mainstream. From my repetition, I think it's obvious my concern is "PERTINENT information." Walking from point A in the city to point B might require that I get directions...but I only need directions once...maybe twice...I don't need a device on my face and a $1000 hole in my wallet. And I don't want to talk to my device. It's annoying and slow... If I'm looking for a store, I can open maps and type the store name and enter...that's easier than wearing glasses, causing marks on the bridge of my nose, and talking. I want an "object in hand" that I can manipulate easily, see easily, use once, then put back in my pocket. Until I'm in a war and need constant, immediate environmental feedback, these devices are just the video game generation thinking, "the heads-up display I use in video games would be great in real life." Yeah...no. I agree that we want immediate access to pertinent information, but how much pertinent information IS THERE between point A and point B? If I'm using a map, can I pinch zoom, expand, rotate as easily as I can with my fingers? Do I really need a $1000 device, or even a $200 device that leaves marks on my nose in order to remember people's names or to "spare me the trouble" of easily removing my pocket computer and easily accessing all the information in the world with finger swipes? Does anybody other than an alzheimer's patient need name-remembering gadgets? I checked the weather a day ago...I'm pretty sure not much has changed since then. I might check it when I go to sleep...between reading on my device and maybe showing a youtube video to my girlfriend.
I also don't understand the obsession with "talking to my device." Maybe if the device could actually offer a human level experience, but seriously...when you're tired and your friend says, "which way?" do you reply with a sentence, or do you point? You point, because a gesture is easier than talking. It's cool and gimmicky to say things to a device, but I still prefer to swipe or touch to get my music playing...and I prefer to simply hand a glass of water to somebody rather than say, "here, take this glass of water." Similarly, we use gestures and tugs with dogs when walking, and only talk when we are A) anthropomophizing (something you aren't going to do to a device...it's not a pet), and when it ISN'T doing what we want it to. I think root argument is that talking requires more energy...if you doubt that, consider that whenever you're tired, you prefer to point or grunt rather than cognitively focus on communication.
I want to see the next big thing, but I don't think either of these devices are going to be "it." Open to thoughts!
Edited by Sol77 - 3/20/13 at 5:24am