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Alexei Oreskovic reports that longer-lasting batteries are crucial for a new crop of wearable computers whose rise may upend Apple and Google’s dominance of mobile devices, according to two of the field’s pioneers.
Wearable devices – from bracelets that monitor physical activity and sleeping patterns to clothing with built-in sensors and web-ready glasses – may mark the next big technology shift, just as smartphones evolved from personal computers.
That transition has put the unglamorous battery in a starring role.
Reuters reports that longer-lasting batteries are crucial for a new crop of wearable computers whose rise may upend Apple and Google’s dominance of mobile devices, two of the field’s pioneers say.
Wearable devices—from bracelets that monitor physical activity and sleeping patterns to clothing with built-in sensors and Web-ready glasses—may mark the next big technology shift, just as smartphones evolved from personal computers. That transition has put the unglamorous battery in a starring role.
“All this wearable stuff is constrained by battery technology. It’s not a computing problem,” Hosain Rahman, CEO of Jawbone, told the Reuters Global Technology Summit on Monday.
Jason Miller reports that in 1982 when I was in first grade at Hillel Day School, a Jewish day school in Metropolitan Detroit, my father brought in our family’s Apple II computer for show-and-tell. There were no computers in the school at that time so it was a seminal technological moment for the school. I’m sure my father figured he would blow my classmates minds by showing them how to type a few lines of the LOGO programming language and get the turtle cursor to turn and move across the screen. However, my peers didn’t have any mind-blowing experiences that day — it was only the beginning of what our generation would come to expect from computers and technology.
Fast forward to 2013 when, earlier this week, I was a guest speaker in my son’s third grade classroom at the same Jewish day school. Speaking on the subject of technology and Jewish education, I became nostalgic and told the students how when I was their age we would save one word processing document on a floppy disc. I then took a USB flash drive out of my pocket to explain Moore’s Law — the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years.
T. Chase Meacham reports that if there was one thing on everyone’s mind at the annual All Things D tech conference held last week, it was Google Glass … and more broadly, the future of wearable computers.
For those who don’t know, a “wearable” is exactly what it sounds like — a tiny device that you wear (say, above the nose, clipped to a shirt, or on the wrist) that does one or more functions. Nike’s much-touted Fuelband was an early example, are are some watches. But with the launch of Glass, many people are looking to Google and other leaders for next steps — and some are predicting a soon-to-be exploding market for tiny wearable devices to do everything from directing us home, to snapping pictures of friends, to identifying strangers on the street.
Charles Cooper reports if past is prologue, wearable computers will soon be the dominant technology we all use. Even if the hype’s getting ahead of the reality, a nascent market is notching measurable progress.
Years from now, will historians pinpoint 2013 as one of those myriad present-at-the-creation moments when a new technology entered the mainstream? When it comes to wearable computing, we’re not there yet. But it seems that we’re getting close.
Asked last week to assess the state of this nascent market, Apple’s Tim Cook described wearable computing as profoundly interesting, which might qualify as understatement of the year.
Rachel Metz reports that Thad Starner explains why he thinks people will soon crave the ultrafast communication and “killer existence” that Google Glass makes possible.