Can you picture yourself walking down the street wearing a coat that could detect when your body is cold and automatically turn up the heat? Or eyeglasses (or even sunglasses) that could navigate you as you walk down the street wearing your stylish WARM coat to the hippest spot in town? And a watch that can read your text messages to you? These ideas may seem futuresque, but these new ideas for technology are closer to reality than you might think!
Well, I wrote about Apple’s new idea for the watch a couple of weeks ago. This week, I want to tell you about what is next on the radar. Google Inc., the world’s largest Internet company, has been testing augmented-reality eyeglasses that feature cameras and use voice recognition. The idea behind creating these fashion gadgets is to integrate technology into our everyday basics. Just thinking about these possibilities makes me want to buy a pair of jeans that would adjust to my thigh and waist size each day to always guarantee the “perfect fit”. Wouldn’t every woman love to own a pair of those???
So what does all of this new technology do besides create more techy gizmos and gadgets? Well, developers say that it will create a more seamless experience with technology that involves fewer devices to carry around and less time digging through your purse or pockets. But it also creates buzz. It includes the ABC’s of buzz marketing: Alphas – the prime influencers (Google’s execs that are raving about the Google Glasses), Bees – the messengers (all of the bloggers and news media relaying the message), and Consumers – all of us (looking for a new product that will set us apart from friends and neighbors). You could probably even say that Google has made some pretty good use of “crowdsourcing” – the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people. Google has done this and done it well by only offering the Google Glass to only a few select individuals to participate in the Google Glass Explorer program, which you had to pre-order during the Google I/O 2012 conference last June or make it through the recently announced #IfIHadGlass application process. By doing this, those individuals feel like they have something the rest of the world wants to be a part of, but can’t until at least late 2013. This allows those individuals to go out and tell the world about their privilege.
There are still numerous challenges to overcome before these types of techno-fashion gadgets will be readily available such as improving battery life, scaling the technology down and making the products affordable. The other task for companies to overcome is to convince consumers that digital devices and fashion can coexist.
Currently, these wearable technologies exist in the sports and health markets. For example, goggles made by Oakley help to assist snowboarders with a display that integrates GPS capabilities, Bluetooth and sensors that gauge jump analytics such as distance, height and airtime. These goggles also have smartphone connectivity and the ability to locate and track friends on the mountain via an app. WOW! These are awesome! And could help so much in emergency situations on a mountain! Genius!