Mankind to machine: 14 computing devices you'll be wearing in the future

Mankind to machine: 14 computing devices you'll be wearing in the future

Summary: If you thought Google Glass was the "future" of wearable tech, think again. From e-tattoos to 3D printed clothes, ZDNet explores what we could be wearing in the very near future.

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

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  • Wearable tech: From mankind to machine

    The past decade or so, humans have become increasingly transfixed by the notion of wearing our technology in some way, shape, or form. From earpieces to headphones, glasses and implants, ZDNet runs through some of the wearable technologies that we will all be wearing in tomorrow's world.

    With so many focused on Google Glass as the next big thing in wearable technology, one DARPA-funded research project is plowing money and resources into vision enhancement for soldiers. The device, embedded on the eye as a contact lens just  over a millimeter thick, is equipped with tiny mirror magnifiers that enhance viewing over vast distances.

    Image: CNET

  • But it all started somewhere…

    Steve Mann helped bring wearable technology into the 21st century. Of course, wrist watches and other wearable technology have been around for centuries, but none with the power of connectivity and electronics. Mann is credited with designing the first modern-day (albeit back in the early 1980s, during the infancy of the Internet) wearable computer and augmented reality system, dubbed EyeTap.

    Image: Wikimedia Commons

  • Eyewear evolved during the late-2000s

    Google Glass may be at the tip of everyone's lips, but it's by far the first wearable eyewear. Vergence Labs' Epiphany Eyewear was released to developed in 2011 — final release is scheduled for 2013 for consumers — which embeds augmented reality and a head-mounted display, with photo snapping and video recording extras, in a pair of designer-like frames.

    Image: Vergence Labs

Topic: Emerging Tech

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  • Data Selling Epidemic With Devices

    It's sad that so many of the wearable devices come with a business model that relies on selling data to support the hardware. Look at Fitbit, Jawbone and many others out there and there are just apps that sell data without any hardware too. It's time to license and excise tax the data sellers. More could go the way of the Tri-Coder who will NOT be selling your data. They are very explicit about it and they are working to keep the doctor patient relationship strong.

    Now add on facial recognition to some of these devices and it gets scary. Again the selling and brokering of data and the ability to use data out of context against us is what we all fear.

    Now it came out too that the same device is marketed for both a clinical and consumer use,just the name is different,go figure. In addition there are a few reports to where doctors are disputing some of the data reported but this is the crazy Algo Duping world we live in and good video here from Charlie Siefe at NYU that talks about how context is everything and you can see how you get sucked in with numbers and reports. If nothing else it will make you ask questions and wonder where you may have been duped along the line, not only with devices but all of what you read today. So how many devices do you plan to use and generate data for sale?
  • Not a chance in he11 I'll EVER use any of these.

    Sorry Zak...ain't happening...ever. I'm not a Lemming.
  • Thanks, but no, thanks, I will not.

    I am fine as I am, unaugmented.

    And how about using a polite 'you may' instead of imperative 'you will' in the title?
  • Time will tell.

    In earlier generations there were some that believed televisions would fail. They were wrong, just as some here will be.

    Never say never!
  • No thank you.

    Borg implants itch too much.
  • Most will fail, most likely.

    Interesting - but most will fail I think.

    But I think that there may come something from this - most likely in the form of a watch. Watches are convenient and already mostly acceptable. And they're one of the oldest forms of wearable technology to begin with. I don't think anybody feels threatened by a watch.

    Glasses are interesting, but they have so many privacy concerns that I doubt they will become popular with the general public. But, they may find some niches, and will likely remain popular among bloggers (who, frankly, are a niche themselves).

    Everything else looks rather silly, to be honest. Tattoos? Really?
  • OMG Nasty

    Why is it when they talk about the wearable tech they show the nasty picture of the wanna be cyborg guy who hasn't shaved, dosen't iron his close and has enough oil on his skin to cook kfc?
  • Let's us not forget where this all started back in 1964
  • There's this thing called...

    ...a brain. Heard of it?
  • And where is Myo?

    I can't believe you forgot this! I suspect a lot of us will be wearing them in the near future.
  • Skin Electronic Tattoos

    Were used in Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth Sci Fi books. Pretty cool idea really, in he's books Electronic Tattoos were both tools and decoration!
  • If the manufacturer has a six digit name, there will be pushback.

    Not from Google-hating tech fans, but from the folks who still insist that a document to encourage Christians in the Roman Empire is a blueprint of OUR near future, and the code used to refer to Nero is a code for someone who will run the world TODAY. And the TATTOOS will really get this group of wackos up in arms!