Wearable computing was the brain child of Steve Mann who invented the first ‘wearable computer’ in the 1970’s. Wearable computing, as the name suggests, refers to computers or technology which the user can wear on their body, and being speech controlled would leave the hands free to carry out various tasks.
Wearable computers, as of now, serve people like technicians, field workers, soldiers and other military personnel, and researchers- it is always near them, and with information thus being readily available, the output of their jobs increases in quality as well as quantity. Every system built requires timely monitoring which would help in maintaining it for longevity. Wearable computing would make the above easier, in so far as it would enable one to gather the data required for the above and actively use it for it betterment, while leaving the hands free for carrying out the tasks.
Wearable computing, however, is still in its early stages of development. While in the 1800s, the wrist watch was described as a perfect wearable computer- because it allowed the user to see the time without using their hands (this was the time when pocket watches were used). However today wearable computing could be used in a variety of manners. It could help produce an augmented memory to help the wearer in a number of ways like replaying where the person parked the car, using the camera attached, or help an elderly person with poor memory with facial recognition. Other uses could include increasing vision, increasing the output in a sportsperson by monitoring the body during practice, health-care etc.
Wearable computing does have a very prominent future because of all the reasons mentioned above and also because people readily resort to technologies which could serve to make their lives easier. While most of this technology is still being researched and developed, and with the present market base being similar to that of the early days of personal computers, it does not mean that there is no future for this- because wearable computing is what the future will be made up of.
Scholl, J. & Drugge, M.
Garrett, J. & Burgy, C.