Readers of this blog know that I’ve been tracking the various ways that the now-traditional setup of screen/keyboard/mouse/computer is being replaced in a world where the network and computing is ubiquitous.
This post reviews some of the more interesting recent ideas – proposed and realized – about how we’ll be interacting with cyberspace. Obviously these technologies are still being perfected and some may not ever become commercially viable, but they give you an idea of where things are headed.
Let’s start with wearable technology, which I first wrote about more than a year ago. The major tech research firm, Forrester, flatly declares that “In 2015, wearables will hit mass market”. Moreover, as reported by Fierce Mobile, “Gartner Predicts By 2017, 30 Percent of Smart Wearables Will Be Inconspicuous to the Eye”.
The Mota Smart Ring is just one of a number of examples of wearable tech, including jewelry. The ring on your finger becomes your communications medium to your smart phone, etc. notifying you of new social media items, messages and the like. Their pre-order video is at http://youtu.be/q5UbWcLmFn4
The latest (if as yet unrealized) vision of using your body as an interface comes from Cicret Bracelet which wants you to “make your skin your new tablet” as you can see in this video or in this picture:
Sometimes your hands and eyes are busy with other duties, so you need a way to see things without moving your line of sight. That’s partly the idea behind Google glasses and a series of heads-up displays for various vehicles that have been developed and not generally successfully sold over the past few years. The latest comes from the British company, Motorcycle Information System Technologies, with its BikeHUD, a heads-up display for motorcyclists. As they put it:
“When we ride, there’s no room for distractions … We created BIKEHUD to enable us to keep our heads UP at all times. As bikers ourselves, we decided we should be watching the miles, not the dials.”
The real fun, of course, is playing with an even more virtual world. Dexta Robotics unveiled their Dexmo exoskeleton for your hand so, among other things, you can better control your avatar in cyberspace.
“Dexmo is a wearable mechanical exoskeleton that captures your hand motion as well as providing you with force feedback. It breaks the barrier between the digital and real world and gives you a sense of touch.”
One of their more dramatic pre-order videos, showing bomb disposal, is at http://youtu.be/B1ZQSoBAP7o
Finally, if you think that Google Glass is geek wear, then consider Sony’s alternative – clip-ons, yes like the clip-on sunshades of yore. They call this SmartEyeglass Attach!, as it is attached to regular (or shaded) glasses.
In its announcement, Sony points out that this product uses:
“High-Resolution Color OLED Microdisplay, a Micro-Optical Unit that brings out the full potential of the display’s high image quality, and a miniaturized control board with arithmetic processing capabilities on par with smartphones that was made possible by high-density packaging technology.”
See a Financial Times reporter trying out the SmartEyeglass at http://youtu.be/XY4uqG2f5qc
Although it’s not likely a response to Sony, Google has announced Google Cardboard so that you can “experience virtual reality in a simple, fun, and inexpensive way”. The product is accurately named. It is, after all, a cardboard box.
The Google Cardboard website has so many wordplays that it comes across like a prank. But who knows? Maybe the latest technology that people will be wearing will be a cardboard box 😉
© 2015 Norman Jacknis