Before anything, smartwatches and glasses have to look good
What’s the next big thing in technology? Most of us haven’t even bought, let alone adjusted, to the latest wave of technology gadgetry, but the technology executives are already looking at where current trends will be taking us according to an article in Gulf News.
However, asking “What’s next” is a very different question than what it was 25 years ago, when things like style came in a distance second to advances in performance, especially when those advances where only beginning to let us use graphic interfaces instead of text. But today, executive have to worry more about style and security more than even before.
Sonny Vu, the founder of Misfit Wearables, which makes the Shine activity tracker, says one of things he faces is making sure that his devices don’t make people look “like dorks.”
He said that is one of the reason that his fitness tracker is made of metal and not plastic.
“There is nothing wrong with plastic,” he said during a CNET panel at the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show). “But plastic isn’t something that people like to wear.”
He said one of the early problems was that “many wearable products, weren’t. It’s not that you couldn’t wear them, it just that you wouldn’t.” He attributed the change in attitude about style to Apple’s senior Vice President of design, Jony Ive, who designed the iPhone and its known through the technology industry for his stylish products.
However, the need to make wearable tech stylish may cause changes that consumer won’t expect, such as a lack of screens on most wearables, according to Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of Intel’s new devices group.
“Many wearables don’t need screens, and that will make wearables look a lot better,” he said. The information those devices collect will still make it on to a screen, but that screen will likely be on your smartphone.
However, for that to occur, devices will have to be on speaking terms, Bell said.
“The promise here is that we have a bunch of devices that work better together, but we need to stop the islands of proprietary data,” he said.
Risk of data sharing
However, opening up data to be shared among devices also increases the risk that it could be breached. However, Bell said that people may be able to use that data, which is eagerly sought after by advertising and marketing companies, to their own advantage.
“Ensuring the privacy of your data is very important, but maybe you should be able to monetize your data.”
However, the biggest issue facing wearables at the moment is power, Vu said. Devices will need more power in order to improve their accuracy, and they will need to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But while there have been many advances in sensor technology, there hasn’t been any major advancement in battery technology is years.
Julie Larson-Green, executive vice president of devices and studios at Microsoft, which includes the Xbox team, said for wearable technology to advance, it has to be very accurate.
“[This technology] has to work 100 per cent of the time,” she said. “It can’t just work 95 per cent of the time.”
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