One of the rallying weeps for Google Glass is to make technology that exists when you require it, gone when you do not. It is meant to aid people proceed with their lives, without focusing on the technology. Wearable computers, as a whole, play supporting functions in what the individual is doing – instead of the computer use being the key emphasis itself.

Vannevar Bush, one of the earliest computing leaders, comprehended this concept and also explained wearable computers as well as video cameras in the 1945 LIFE journal variation of his renowned essay “As We May Think.” Sadly, just very early data processors alreadied existing then, and mainframes need that we bring ourselves to the computer. Gradually, however, the innovation came to us: from computer systems on our desktops to laptops to mobile phones.

Bringing innovation and computing closer to the physical body can really enable innovation to obtain additionally out of the method.

While these technologies decreased the barrier to communicating and also accessing info, they created various other barriers. We are now commonly welcomed in conferences with a literal barrier of displays that obtain in the way of in person communication.

Can we rather make tools that urge in-person, in person interaction – while still providing the data folks require, just when they require it? I’ve been making and using wearable computer systems in my life given that 1993 and also have actually been a technological lead and also manager on Google Glass because its first year in 2010. It could feel like a paradox, but I say that bringing innovation and also computing closer to the body can in fact boost communication as well as interest – granting modern technology to get further out of the way.

All wearable computing layouts make trade-offs in between electric battery life as well as weight, size and also fashion, simpleness of usage and also sort of task sustained. Glass is different both in its dramatically different engineering choices and its interactions that exploit wearable computer’s primary benefits (instead of reproducing the user interfaces of the PC or mobile phone).

Wearable computer systems lower the time between a customer’s intentions to do an activity as well as her initial activity to do it, this reduction in time between purpose as well as activity is among the major benefits. Wearable computer systems can likewise be very social tools in the communications they make it possible for and also the contexts in which they are utilized. (For instance, Glass is designed to allow easy sharing of the individual’s encounters with 10-second video, photographs, as well as hangouts, and it likewise provides explicit social cues to conversational companions about when it is being used). Wearable computers could be developed to take an additional, sustaining part in the user’s life as resisted to being the major focus of the customer’s attention.

Designing for Social Transparency and Flow

When I started the MIT Wearable Computer Task in 1995, the team of us who used computer systems on an everyday basis quickly found that our conversational companions did not understand the computers’ function. They wrongly assumed that we were frequently “living in VR.”

In feedback, making the interface much more socially transparent ended up being an objective. I’ll use Glass, which has been my most current experience, to illustrate. Take the display. We decided to mount the screen high to ensure that there would certainly be no obstacle to eye call. Even if the user flexes her head down and also looks with the display screen, her eyes can still be viewed. When the display screen is on, both the individual and her conversational companions could see it. This layout explains when the device is in use.

Thad Starner


Wearable computing pioneer Thad Starner is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computer at the Georgia Institute of Innovation, and Technical Lead on Google Glass, which was called a Time Publication Invention of the Year. He was perhaps the first to incorporate a head-up display-based wearable computer system into his day-to-day life as a smart agent, and is a creator of the annual ACM/IEEE International Seminar on Wearable Computers. Starner created the term ‘increased reality’ in 1990 to describe the kinds of interfaces he visualized at the time, has actually authored over 150 peer-reviewed scientific magazines, and also is a developer on over 80 U.S. patents.