Wearing Our Devices: Hello, Dick Tracy!

By Shlomo  Maital


Nick Bilton’s New York Times blog reports on a new creative direction Apple designers are taking: 

   Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company’s explorations…. Such a watch would operate on Apple’s iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company’s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body. …Last year, Corning, the maker of the ultra-tough Gorilla Glass that is used in the iPhone, announced that it had solved the difficult engineering challenge of creating bendable glass, called Willow Glass, that can flop as easily as a piece of paper in the wind without breaking.

   Again, science fiction beat us to the punch long ago. The cartoon detective Dick Tracy wore a radio watch that he used regularly to communicate. 

    Let your imaginations frolic.  Picture your laptop, cell phone, computer, iPad, all your electronic devices,  worn on your body, made of flexible bendable glass that ‘flops as easily as a piece of paper in the wind’. 

    MIT’s Media Lab long ago predicted, and built, wearable computers.  It now looks like they have become real. 

     Now, we need to consult fashion designers, to do what the Swiss Watch Co, Swatch, did under Nicholas Hayek  — make devices into fashion items.  You may need a wearable fashion iPhone for each one of your outfits.  And you may see Naomi Campbell wear fashion iPads down the fashion runway in Paris.

   Apple is not alone.  According to Bilton,  “while Apple continues its experiments with wearables, its biggest competitor, Google, is pressing ahead with plans to make wearable computers mainstream. According to a Google executive who spoke on the condition that he not be named, the company hopes its wearable glasses, with a display that sits above the eye, will account for 3 percent of revenue by 2015. Olympus is also working on wearable computers.  Google is holding private workshops in San Francisco and New York for developers to start building applications for its glasses.”