Google Glass and the iWatch are real, and they're coming soon. It all feels a bit like science fiction, except it's not science fiction to wear augmented reality glasses, or have access to the internet on your wrist. Amongst the tech set, it's all very exciting news, and it's exciting to know this exists… but in reality, would the fashion conscious actually wear this new technology, seriously?
When this first hit the news last year it still felt like something that would never happen, but alas Google Glass has already been spotted on the streets of New York, and even on eBay. Personally I'm getting nervous. I love technology that makes life easier. When I first bought my iPhone, it was like fish to water, you couldn't (and still can't four years later) pry that phone out of my hand. My only complaint of life with an iPhone is that the battery runs out eventually. But I would gladly recharge my phone until they somehow figure out perpetual motion and invent limitless energy.
However, the phone is different. You can put it in your pocket. No one really has to see you walk down the street with it, unless you're texting and walking. It somehow enables you to live an online life without it interrupting your offline life too much, unless you want it to.
The Augmented Advantage
It boils down to how useful technology is, how fun it is, and how cool it is to become part of our lives like smartphones have become. If the augmented reality takes our digital experience to the next level like it's saying it will. Resisting might be tough. From watching the Google Glass video, it's amazing how you can record videos and take photos without having to pull out your phone and have that awkward moment, “I'm filming you, so do something.” Since I was a child, I had wished I could take a photo of what I was seeing at that exact moment of time. For bloggers it could make live coverage, and sharing even more seamless, and even more immediate than it already is. Just think of the madness of fashion week coverage! It puts a whole new spin on “perspective.”
However useful and fun Google Glass might be, the people wearing it still look like they're going to a Start Trek convention. Google's been trying to appeal to the fashion set with DVF, SJP… and whatever stylish three-initialed person we can think of. Granted this is the first incarnation hitting the market, but would people really get into it and wear it every day? What would you do at the dinner table? “Take OFF your glasses!” I can hear people saying. Or, “I can't date that guy, he's wearing a first gen Google Glass…”
Will Your Identity Be Affected?
It's not just technology, it's technology to wear on your face. Whether we like it or not, anything on our face becomes part of how people see us. Whether it be the kind of makeup we wear, the way we wear our hair, jewelry…and glasses. My husband looks like a different person when he's not wearing his glasses. And like regular glasses, Google Glass will become part of the wearer's identity. Yes, I'm Jennine and I have an iPhone, but that's not my identity. I hope people don't think of me with an iPhone in my hand, and I certainly hope people can recognize me without my iPhone.
However much we think wearable technology might be going away, with the iWatch, it seems like that will be the future for us. Personally, I've never been able to wear regular watches with much consistency, but with the ability to take phone calls, play music, tell the time, pedometer, etc.. it seems like a better option than carrying your phone with you while running (which I've been known to do). So when it comes to functionality, these advances of technology might make our lives easier, or they just might make it harder to break away from the online world.
Image: Christina Coradona wearing Google Glass.