When the first Pebble smartwatch was unveiled in autumn of last year, pundits and consumers in the tech industry envisioned a future world reminiscent of something out of The Jetsons: curved glass watches that would display anything from calls to messages. Unfortunately, the clunky, unaesthetic, and ill-functioning “smart” watches that we have today miss that goal completely.
But their success isn’t important. Their very existence represents a paradigmatic shift in the consumer electronics industry, from powerful pocket devices (think cell phones and iPads) to wearable technology (Google Glass and smartwatches) that keeps us connected to the Cloud.
That shift is omnipresent in the newest products on the shelves, with companies like Nokia and Apple eager to tap into the smartwatch industry with their own rumored designs and corporate giants like Google designing contact lenses that monitor glucose levels. It seems like most designers are trying to awkwardly attach the prefix “smart-” to everything their drawing boards churn out.
We’re witnessing a computing revolution, in which gadgets are reaching new heights in terms of accessibility and user experiences. For example, Google Glass, while looking extremely dorky (unless you like that look), brings augmented reality to an unprecedented level. Sure, its not exactly practical right now, but then again, its design has recently been updated, we can probably expect prices to go down as the technology becomes more ubiquitous, and as it falls into a niche of consumer needs, we might actually see a Jetsons world.
Despite the uncertainty of the future of wearable tech, we can be sure of one thing: gadgets are no longer limited to cell phones and iPods.