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Miranda Chuang reports that Lee Feng Chien, general manager of Google Taiwan, has stated that the concept of wearable devices has been around for years but it did not turn into a marketable product until 2013. Taiwan-based firms should cooperate with academics to seize the business opportunities offered by Google Glass.
Google Glass was first introduced in Google I/O developers’ conferece in 2012, and in 2013 there are third-party firms and teams providing digital content. In addition, the Google Glass platform now supports Google’s in-house services such as Google+, Google Voice Search, Gmail, Google Now, and Google Maps.
Chien believes Taiwan-based firms should do more than manufacturing and as the wearable device market moves into a new era, the firms should cooperate with the academics to develop products for this market.
Taylor Wessing reports that with Google Glass creating interest in the media, attention is shifting to the possibility of a new generation of technology that is not just portable but wearable. However, it is not just in the area of interactive information services that developments in wearable technology are taking place.
Advances are also being made in the area of wearable medical devices. In fact, the market for wearable devices is reported to have already reached a value of $2bn (£1.3bn) in 2011, with predictions that this will triple by 2016. The latter figure would represent some 100 million health-related devices sold, even before sports and fitness-related devices are included.
Stewart Hunter reports that maybe that’s the question we’ll be asking ourselves in the 2020s. The concept certainly has the disruptive potential to become a generation defining piece of technology, and the hype has given it a healthy kick start. It could be the product, or perhaps the start of a product line, that creates a historical break of the world before and after it. That said, most of the world won’t be wearing this particular look in the next few years unless the price drops dramatically, the ability to manufacture it increases considerably and the developers create an explosion of glassware to give it more functionality. So what other wearables could be spotted in before the summer of 2015?
Over the past six months, if you’ve been able to look beyond rather than through the wearable tech ‘GLASS’ lens, you’ll have seen an increasing number of wearable devices appearing on the wrists rather than the faces of technophiles . The trend that started in the US is now gaining traction across the world’s major cities. Nike+’s FuelBand and Jawbone’s UP are the two trail blazing products. Both of them enable people to permanently monitor one of the fundamental aspects of their lifestyle, how active they actually are. The trend of life logging through discrete wearable technology has more recently entered Asian markets. Currently the Singapore supplier of Jawbone’s UP is out of stock, the trend is gaining momentum here.
Shona Ghosh reports that wearable tech will be a “revolution” for mobile computing – but it’ll come from consumers owning “hundreds” of smaller smart devices rather than a single one such as Google Glass.
That’s according to hosting firm Rackspace, which says the “real revolution” in wearable tech will be when everything in a consumer’s wardrobe acts as a smart device, such as trainers that track your running patterns.
“Google Glass is an interesting innovation – but the real revolution is not wearable glasses, it’s in my wardrobe, my drawers, the items in my life,” technology VP Nigel Beighton told PC Pro. “Whether that’s my underwear or my running shoes, my hi-fi or my pens, it’s about all of those being enabled. We’re talking about those being able to sense and build data.”
Brad Reed questions the notion that Google Glass is an awkward, silly looking gadget that will be relegated to aniche market of techie dorks. If so then Georgia Tech professor Thad Starner thinks you’re missing out on the next technological revolution that will change the world in much the same way the automobile did. In an interview withTechnology Review, Starner hit back at the notion that Glass is too dorky for mainstream audiences and said eyeglasses, automobiles and cell phones were all seen as ridiculous when they were first introduced. When the interviewer questioned whether Google Glass really had the same revolutionary potential as the car, Starner doubled down.
“I believe if we reduce the time between intention and action, it causes a major change in what you can do, period,” Starner explain. “When you actually get it down to two seconds, it’s a different way of thinking, and that’s powerful. And so I believe, and this is what a lot of people believe in academia right now, that these on-body devices are really the next revolution in computing.”
Ben Rooney reports that wearable devices that measure a user’s fitness may deepen the digital divide in society, with those willing to adopt such devices able to access lower health premiums, while those with poor media literacy may be excluded, said the author of a report published Tuesday.
Chris Brauer, author of “The Human Cloud: wearable technology from novelty to production,” said devices that can be used to measure and log your lifestyle can put adopters in a strong position to negotiate their insurance and other benefits.
“We are already seeing wearable technology being used in the private sector, with health-insurance firms encouraging members to use wearable fitness devices to earn rewards for maintaining a healthier lifestyle.” he said.