Resistance is Futile – Wearables Takeover?
Having just read an article on “Wearables” in Wired, I am left with a sense of uneasiness about it. For those that are not familiar, Wearables is the new trendy craze. These are devices that can be worn or otherwise implemented into every day attire – wristwatches that replace phones, jewelry with wifi that speak to smart phones via blue tooth, rings that count your steps, ski goggles that display speed and location of friends, glasses that detect eye movements, laser wigs (WTF?), pens that blink and beep for a tweet etc.
Mr. Vu who started the company Misfits Wearables says that the effect of these devices will be to “make you more aware, more mindful. It will reduce the number of seconds in the day when you’re confused”.
This statement is seriously mind boggling. Exactly how confused are we throughout the day that we need to reduce the seconds of confusion? At what point do we become unable to make decisions about our daily tasks that we need a machine to guide us? Personally, I would like to stay “confused” (read “human”) for a few seconds of the day when I can zone out and not stare at yet another screen spitting out information or have some bug in my ear whispering stats on how many steps I took or beeping screens informing me that someone liked, tweeted or shared a post.
The developers of the Wearables talk about 2 second test which if I understand correctly states that if it takes a user more than 2 seconds to get to the app, the engagement with the app decreases, productivity goes down and so forth whereas with Wearables, all the user has to do is glance, think, want, blink and the info is immediately displayed, keeping the user forever engaged with the virtual world. Do we really need it right there in less than 2 seconds?
I am all into technology, I love my iPhone and my MacBook but isn’t it enough that we are already glued to smartphones, TV screens, games, FB, twitter, email and whatever else is out there?
While companies present these as desirable gadgets, we are turning into drones that are not “confused” ever! Not even for a second! There are so many problems in the world that require immediate solutions such as pollution, clean energy, deforestation, globe choking in plastic and so many more. Yet with such a huge pool of talent and entrepreneurship, we are inventing and manufacturing useless plastic shit that will inevitably end up in a dump or in some dead bird’s stomach. I don’t think that the blinking lights and beeps for tweets and shares are an improvement on our lives. If anything, peering into our gadgets and screens makes us more detached and alienated from the world. We have teens that can not communicate to each other in person unless it’s through gadgets and social medias. We even have sex with the help of computer run devices. It’s nuts!