The consumption of digital media is the hallmark of the 21st century. Computers have continuously evolved to allow users to consume media with greater ease, transitioning from bulking room-sized machines in the 1960s, to sleek, mobile laptops in the 2000s.
Nowadays, computers are available in the form of highly portable smartphones and tablets, allowing easy access to many forms of media and entertainment. The next step in accessing digital media in our everyday lives is to incorporate wearable computers that blend in completely with standard attire, allowing for seamless integration between clothing and computing. Revolutionary products like Google Glass, Android Wear (Google’s smartwatch), Samsung Gear, and the Pebble Smartwatchare just entering the market, and are poised to change the way we interact with computers forever.
We will be taking a close look into some of the wearable computing products being showcased around the globe. Please note that many of these are still in the prototype stage.
Prototype 1: Wireless gaming graphics cards
For extreme gamers who also want both freedom and mobility, these new wireless graphics cards give you the power of a traditional desktop gaming PC on your wearable computer. This model is charged wirelessly (via wireless HDMI), and transmits its output over Bluetooth 5.0 With a wireless graphics card, you no longer need to choose between power and mobility.
Prototype 2: Personalized weather control
New advances in battery technology, coupled with powerful-yet-light CPUs, allow for limited local weather control. This prototype comes with temperature sensors, a dehumidifier, a thermoelectric cooling unit, a 75 watt wind generator, and a small water sprinkler to simulate rain. The unit allows for partial weather control in a 4 cubic meter space (outdoors) or 8 cubic meter space (indoors). Water sold separately.
Prototype 3: Casual-wear computers
Soon, each article of clothing that you wear can be a computer. Shown above are two products being used in a casual environment: The ShirtPC, and the hand-held input controller. The ShirtPC is made from a dual-layer fabric, with a flexible printed circuit board embedded between the layers. It is reasonably waterproof, and uses body heat as an energy source. Future versions will display the visual output in a seamlessly integrated flexible screen, woven into the front of the shirt. The display is inverted, so you can view it by looking down. This person is currently playing Call of Duty using a hand-held controller for input. The hand-held controller uses hand gestures and movements to control a cursor that is shown within the display unit. While the hand-held controller is easily visible in the current prototype, the final product will be 100% transparent, and contain helium in order to be effectively weightless.
Prototype 4: Office-wear computers
New products from the Google Attire series will be finding their way into your professional office settings. Shown above is the sleeker version of Google Glass, which boasts a longer battery life and higher resolution. The Google Tie solves one of the biggest problems with Google Glass: Text input. Please note that the model shown here is a prototype, and the final version will look more like a tie, and weigh less than 4.5lbs (2kg). Google Cup is a new precision-engineered medium for temporary storage of consumable liquids. A large circular aperture near apex of the device allows for easy access to the internal storage space. An ergonomically contoured manipulation apparatus is fitted to the outside of the Google Cup, to allow for digital alignment of the device’s elevation, orientation, and tilt factors.
Prototype 5: Cellular auto-tablet
The tablets of tomorrow will come in exciting (and cute!) form factors. The most ambitious projects take your standard tablets and turn them into fluffy, cuddly and adorable auto-tablets! Auto-tablets are on auto-mode: They have AI, long-term user-inaccessible storage for data, and a sleep mode that follows daylight patterns. Cellular auto-tablets (biological models) do not have the typical USB charger, but are powered via aquatic and organic energy storage sources. Just like standard tablets, these cellular auto-tablets are guaranteed to provide hours of endless entertainment. The model shown here does not use synchronous dynamic RAM (SDRAM). Instead, it features parallel enhanced thread RAM, which is an excellent companion to the cellular auto-tablet.
To learn more about these prototypes, visit the Wearable Computers dropdown module found at logicalincrements.com.