Browsing Posts in Wearable Technology

It's always interesting to watch the evolution of a new technological space. How the companies that have embraced and focused on that single idea are now blossoming into producing very viable products. I've been watching the development of AR and VR quite a bit and it's interesting to see how some of the larger tech' "power houses" (Google, Facebook, Microsoft) are now aligning themselves in preparation for it's potential mainstream adoption.

Microsoft was pretty quick to announce it's work on HoloLens and Facebook made a very public announcement of it's acquisition of Oculus VR.

Two other AR companies I've been really excited to see progression with are Meta's "Space Glasses" and Magic Leap. The later of which has recently been supported with huge investment and interest from Google and more recently rumor of potential backing from Alibaba.

I think there is a very strong consensus that, AR specifically, could replace and/or compliment traditional desktops and that larger tech' companies have been watching start ups from afar to see which one's offered the most promise and real-world application. There is a natural marriage between Google Glass and Magic Leap and with Google committed to the Enterprise with Google App's it makes sense that they would want to compete with Microsoft on AR turf.

In terms of investing, 3D printing demonstrated that new tech' should be approached with caution. Stratasys and Makerbot (and their subsequent merger) tried to exemplify that this technology has real applications and growth potential, but unfortunately that just isn't being realized at the minute. I do foresee a day when 3D printers will be as common in residential applications as inkjet and laser printers are today, but just not right now.

With AR though; I feel like something is different, that there is a huge driving force to realize this technology. Just as Military and Space Programs have traditionally been the main drivers of technological innovation I feel that, subjectively and with any opinion aside, online pornography will be a huge catalyst in propelling, specifically, VR technology mainstream.

AR could be totally transformative in how we use technology today. I'm pretty excited to see how this "space" plays out.

TALOS is back in tech-news today as it's announced that LegacyFX, the company that developed Tony Stark's Iron Man suit for Hollywood is now working alongside Ekso Bionics to help the US Military deliver on TALOS, or Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit.

This got me thinking about some broader technologies emerging. A while ago I wrote an article on the slow, but increasing overlap between humans and technology. Augmented reality, wearable technology. Touch and gesture. Sensory peripheral technology and for a while now the exploration of technology focusing on human motor skills, mobility and enhancement.

Whilst the prospect of TALOS sounds incredible, the military applications are both equally consequential as they are amazing, however military technology is often responsible for rapid advances in day-to-day technology. ReWalk, an Israeli start-up, now with offices in the US and Germany, is making huge advances in the medical application of exoskeletons. Their products have been the first in this sector to pass FDA approval and offer people with motor disabilities the opportunity to, for example, walk again.

I think the future of Exoskeletons is just as exciting as driver-less cars.

Technology brings about many great things, huge advances in science and medicine for example, but it also arouses plenty of questions governing it's morality and applicability to peoples privacy.

One thing I'm noticing recently is more and more law enforcement, government agencies, and military units are trialling Google Glass, and that makes complete sense. The possibilities that an augmented reality interface offers to those engaged in these lines of daily work is endless.

Things that I would predict would become "laissez faire"; facial recognition tethered to instant access of public profile information. Meeting strangers in public places and instantly having access to a huge amount of public unrestricted data "out there" on the internet. Facebook, LinkedIN, Spokeo.com information. There interests, the career history, likes, dislikes. But; if you're working in law enforcement, for the government or the military could that go even further? Tether facial recognition to criminal databases. Have instant access to a persons criminal record. Access to known terror suspects/FBI wanted list or just a huge amounts of data on potentially anybody and everybody?

It reminds me some what of Robo-Cop. A HUD display with friendly vs. enemy combatant information. Persons of interest/with outstanding warrant's. The potential to make that data instantly and seamlessly accessible via. Google Glass, or more recently MetaPRO will be amazing.

As much as it will significantly aid officials in their daily duties it does beg the question how much more of our privacy will we surrender to wearable technology. Some would argue that, that information already exists out there in the public domain but technology is driving this information to those seeking it in easier and more efficient ways.

Will we see a rise in the "internet underworld". More people seeking to hide their online identities. A rise in TOR/Darknet activity, even service providers offering an ability to go "off-grid" to mask your online profile?

I'm interested to see how this plays out!

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