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Com 460 Elective Blog “Wearable Tech”

November 12, 2013

For my Com 460 Elective Blog this week I will explore the tech area of “wearable technologies”. We discussed the emerging technology in class lecture concerning the rising use of mobile devices. It was explained that mobile tech use that also includes wearable tech now exceeds “traditional” computer use. Mobile devices and social media use are complementary due to their easy portability. Some very popular apps (like Instagram) are specially designed for the mobile market. Wear technologies make up a growing proportion of the “mobile device” industry.

After a simple Google Image Search for “wearable technology”, I was very surprised to see how many devices I recognized on the consumer market already. I never new there were so many wearable devices available to the consumer already. No doubt the Google Glass is the device I have heard the most buzz about. And the only wearable device I’ve in use that I can recall. After talking with some friends who have tried them (I never have), Google Glass got mixed reviews from the people I knew. I still think they would be cool to try to form my own opinion. Also, I believe the Google Glass project has the most potential of any wearable tech for being widely accepted in the consumer market in the future. Oh yeah, and to buy the Google Glass Explorer kit, it’s like $7,500 on eBay.

Another wearable tech device I have seen before, never used, but knew was available is the Nike Fuel Band. I know this device links to the Nike Plus Running App for your phone that tracks how far the person ran, then post the route, time, etc. on select social networks. I have used the Nike Plus Running App before while in the gym and running on the track with a positive experience. I liked how it kept track of how many miles you have ran since getting the app and displays it on the homescreen (I was up to like, 126 miles total). However, I have not used the Nike Fuel Band linked to the Nike App. I know the Band does a lot of cool stuff, but it was too expensive ($150.00) and couldn’t justify buying one.

Although wearable technology is growing by leaps and bounds, there have been some problems gaining position in the mainstream tech market. James Fields writes about several of these problems in his tech blog in The Tennessean. He cites “clunky design, battery life, and limited functionality” as some issues. It is my opinion that for wearable technologies to replace mobile devices (iPhones, iPads, tablets, etc.), there has to be a feature of the wearable technology that makes the consumer say to themselves “that’s better than what my (blank device) can do, I should get one”. There has to be a more streamline both in the design of the device, as well as how it integrates into a persons life. People playing games or checking social media (two most popular mobile activities) need to have the same access with wearable tech as their mobile device.

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