The Smart Phone as a kind of Wearable Computer

Post date: Sep 10, 2015 8:38:44 AM

In my last post, I whined a bit about giant smart phones and made fun of devices like smart watches and Bluetooth handsets. Today I am going to make fun of wearable computers. Well, not make fun of so much as point out the irony of how cool new phones are, how they have become less mobile, and a bit more like wearable, and just how dorky wearable computers have traditionally been.A mobile phone is very much a fashion accessory in addition to being a communications device. The Moto Razr was the fashion accessory in its time. It wasn't until the sleek looking iPhone that smart phones came into the consumer mainstream. Somewhere post-iPhone, mobile phone fashion did a 180 and big became the new small. Being the technology nerd that I am, the idea of a computer being a fashion accessory strikes me as fairly ironic.

When smartphones outgrew pockets, a new market for secondary devices like watches sprang up. This was a sort of tectonic shift, as the smart phone shifted from a phone with computer-like abilities, to a computer with phone-like capabilities, and it became fashionable to wear on on your person and access through an interface of sorts, rather than holding it in your hand. Again, this strikes me as ironic because the wearable computer is the apex of nerdy when it comes to... well pretty much anything.

Needless to say, Google Glass was the point where we reached peak irony, and wearing a computer on your face became the techno-fashion accessory of 2013, which vanished suddenly, like any fashion trend that you can name from the last 30 years. Of course it cost a fortune, of course it raised all manner of privacy concerns, but I'm sure it felt like wearing the future on your face!Wearing a computer and/or phone is one way to make sure you are never out of reach. Personally, it's not one that I prefer. I would rather use multiple devices, based on the situation that I find myself in.