Are Wearable Computers the Future of Technology?
Elizabeth is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Talk about mobility. You can't get any more mobile than wearing a computer as apparel.
A new generation of consumer electronics is being dreamed up, reports the New York Times. Both Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) are hard at work -- independently and somewhat secretly -- to come up with an even more portable form of the computer.
Apple, it seems, is investigating the possibility of a "wearable" iPod that the wearer can control via the beloved "Siri", the electronic personal assistant. Arguably, the most talked about feature of the Verizon-networked (NYSE: VZ) iPhone 4S, Siri would supply the interaction of the wearable device by responding to verbal commands.
In actuality, the wearable iPod would just be another in the line of wearable gadgets, such as the iPod Nano watchband and the iPod shuffle arm band. Reportedly, Apple representatives have not only been conceptualizing these wearable devices, but prototyping them as well.
On the other hand, Google's top secret Google X research lab, are consulting with Nokia (NYSE: NOK) engineers on a wearable computer that would communicate information back to any Android device, such as tablets or smartphones.
The goal of these devices would be to send information back to devices, such as iPhones and Android-based devices to increase their appeal and sales -- or to sell more advertising.
These days, the smartphone is never more than a few feet away from its owner. Will it keep people from constantly burying their heads in their smartphones? Not likely.
Twenty years ago, wearable computers would have been seen as too far-fetched. Now, we're talking about voice-activated earrings and watches -- something out of a James Bond movie. What's next? Contact lenses with a built-in computer and voice-activation? I wouldn't count it out.
What's your take? Are you a fan of making gadgets a part of your apparel?
Fool blogger Liz Magill owns no shares in any of the companies mentioned above at the time of writing.