Any technology can theoretically be wearable right? 

As long as I have enough gaffer tape and a heavy-duty staple gun, I can pretty much fix any device to my body for a decent enough time, before it falls off or I pass out from the pain.

So what’s the big deal about wearables then?

You love wearables, you talk about them all the time, in fact you’re probably wearing a wearable right now!

And when I say ‘you’ I mean ‘any marketer reading this’, not the normal people out there who wouldn’t dream of using a term like ‘wearables’ for fear of being laughed at, let alone wear a ridiculous visor over their face that helps them reverse park properly.

Anyway, wearables, they’re pretty exciting and people often say they’ll be as game-changing as smartphones. Or at least people who work in tech journalism do anyway.

But what about the future? 

Right now it’s too early for most thought-leaders and gurus to tell quite how much of an impact wearables will have on our lives.

Luckily for you I am a #futurist (copyright Matt Owen) and I can accurately predict with 99% accuracy exactly the sorts of things we can look forward to when SmartWatches, SmartGlasses, SmartBelts and SmartEspadrilles eventually take over our lives and consign our redundant smartphones to same bin we put our SodaStreams in twice.

The future!

2016: after developers realise that so many people feel terrible about the fact they haven’t managed to walk their daily 10,000 step minimum, SmartWatches become fitted with the ability to scream insults at their owners and don’t stop until the wearer has paced around their flat sufficiently.

2017: if you say anything sexist a dye-pack built into your wearable device (mainly SmartCargoShorts and SmartVneckVests) will explode, covering you in irremovable green paint, leaving you spoilt and unfit for society.

2018: international crisis talks are held to come up with a solution to the increasingly globalised problem of ‘that funny smell from underneath your watch-strap’. Talks fail. Everyone is just advised to take off their SmartWatches when in the shower. This also has the added benefit of slowing down the number of electrocution-related deaths that have trebled in the last two years.

2019: SmartPants are invented. Although they are deemed too clever for their own good, so production is immediately halted.

2020: SmartSocks are invented. You never knew you needed them, nor do you understand why you need them now, or why in fact you just purchased another five pairs of the $150 product without really questioning why.

When asked about the alleged mind-controlling qualities of the smartsocks, CEO of DespoTech, Dr Thaddeus T. Hammerfist refused to comment.

2021: SmartSocks are banned by all major governments. Hammerfist disappears from public life, vowing revenge as he steps on to his hovercraft.

2022: SmartCardigans finally arrive. Advertised features of the SmartCardigan include: a level of comfort that makes it too unbearable to remove, a handy pocket for your pipe-tobacco, sleeves that are slightly too long but are perfect for when your hands get too chilly, a chunky wool knit/cashmere blend, a choice of three shades of brown, laser cannon.

2023: wearers of SmartCardigans are quickly allowed by a terrified British government to secede from the mainland.

After invading a small and easily conquerable Hebridean island, absolutely no one, and I mean NO ONE, ever messes with the SmartCardigan wearers again. Not even after the fifth time they’ve fallen asleep in front of an unattended log-fire, or repeated the same boring story 30 times over, or successfully tested a ballistic missile that cleared over 600km.

2024: someone finally buys a Google Glass.

2025: a small minority of people realise that they forgot to include the ability to make a phone call in any wearable device manufactured since 2016. Nobody seems to care.

By the way, that’s #futurist, spelt ‘hashtag’ and then ‘futurist’. 

More hard-hitting journalism…

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 24 July, 2015 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

Anthony Leaton

Anthony Leaton, Freelance at Emarketing Manager

Quite an ironic article. I am a fan of mobile technology as wearable, however Google dropping glass which streams and provides information freely to governments to use with impunity. This was shown very clearly to be the case with Yahoo being used by the UK government to monitor people using webcams. They were activated without a light showing on the user's cam, and the targets were not 'of interest'. Source: The Independent: "British agents spied on Yahoo users' 'intimate' webcam images, Snowden files reveal".

This suggests that new privacy protocols need to be put in place. This is not alarmist sadly it is the now. If you use a Google product, which connects to a server outside the UK, then it may be monitored (as you are talking to another national power). Hacked glasses could be used to take PIN numbers down to passwords from users.

Wearables are the future, however I believe having eyes anywhere opens doorways for misuse. Perhaps having encryption certified from various independent proxies are our future with privacy. Time will tell.

almost 3 years ago

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