From Wearables to Hideables: Technology that everyone will finally use.
This month’s edition of Wired Magazine features Jerry Seinfeld wearing Google Glass as he pontificates on the etiquette, or lack thereof, of digital technology. They dub him Wired’s “guest glasshole”, and the moniker speaks for itself.
Technology that’s abused and in-your-face (literally) can be rather obnoxious. But as we all know, in the right hands … at the right time … and in the right place, technology can change your life in wonderful ways. Even Google Glass has its place — just not at the local TGI Fridays.
Full disclosure: I live for technology and I make a livelihood providing graphical display software, so I’m pre-disposed to want to see technology everywhere. But I’m also a realist. I understand that technology doesn’t hit Main Street until it takes a back seat as a supporting player. Sure, the early adopters love technology that’s front and center. But the mass market won’t embrace it until they can hide it. Frankly, the majority of us don’t want to be noticed or stand out. We’d rather blend in.
Here’s a case in point. The cell phone didn’t hit the big time until it was small enough to be relocated from the belt clip to the cozy privacy of our pants pockets. The mini tablet gets market share because it can fit in a woman’s purse — well hidden from the scoffs of her judgmental sister-in-law. “I’ll keep my technology and socioeconomic status to myself, if you please. Now pass the Grey Poupon, Marge.”
As for the car, the 17 inch display in the Tesla is cool and Silicon Valley tech execs who can afford it do love it. To be sure it’s an “in-your-face”, front and center solution. But until it’s pared down to the essential and the functionality can be hidden in a HUD or a smaller integrated display, it won’t make it to the mainstream showroom.
Unfortunately, all of this hiding means that tech for the masses (and thus the tech that truly makes a difference) is always going to need to be highly integrated, deeply embedded, compact, low power, minimized and constrained so that it can be tucked away and out of sight. That’s okay. We’re up for the task and looking forward to the challenge.
As for Google Glass … time for a retinal implant? Or at the very least, let’s stick it behind a pair of really dark sunglasses and only use it at the Space X summer picnic.