“Having technology on you, around you, inside you 24/7 is going to be totally commonplace,” says Rebecca (Becky) Stern, a director of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries, in this excellent, highly watchable introduction to wearable technology.
Adafruit is a thriving electronics boutique based in New York City and aimed at the maker community, and it’s but one example of the $1.5 billion business that wearable technology is projected to become by 2014. Wearable tech includes everything from health trackers like Nike’s Fuelband and computers you can swallow to Google Glass.
This kind of technology is still in its infancy. To understand where it’s going, picture electronics customized for every appendage you have, and even adhering to your tissues in the form of flexible patches. Pitcture it embedded in every garment you own. Quartz published a round-up not long ago that covers the full range of what’s already being developed, from face-based computing and phones-as-watches to electronic tattoos that monitor your vital signs for a few weeks until they wash off.
If all of this sounds a little creepy, keep in mind that people like Google co-founder Sergey Brin are busily attempting to make wearable computing seem as normal as eye glasses and earrings by wearing the technology every chance he gets. Sandy Pentland, an MIT professor and pioneer in this field who is the go-to for understanding its potential, opines in the video above that, as humans embedded in a vast computerized, technological system, we are essentially already cyborgs, and might as well get used to it.