So today I decided to walk on the sunnier side of the street and indulge my inner geek diva with the fashionable possibilities presented by wearable mobile devices and chic computer accessories.
Some stories I read this week about clothing and accessories that have computer components built-in, got me thinking not only about a series of books I read years ago, but also about conversations with folks I knew back in Seattle who used to work for a company that makes some very futuristic gear for the US military.
When I read Janet Morris’ “Dream Dancer” sci-fi Trilogy back in the ’80s; I was fascinated by her description of characters who literally had computers implanted into their brains. When one of them got in trouble; his punishment was being disconnected from his “beloved databases”. Banished from the wired-in collective; he experienced extreme feelings of dejection, isolation, and social deprivation.
That particular image has stuck with me all these years, and now of course it doesn’t seem so sci-fi at all.
I know plenty of people who feel dejected, isolated, and extremely socially deprived when they are unable to access Twitter or Facebook for even short periods of time. They may not be quite as wired in as Star Trek’s Jean-Luc Picard was when he was assimilated into the Borg; but at least for them; resistance truly is “futile”.
Continuing with the sci-fi movie theme; Google will reportedly have some “Terminator”-like glasses available for sale by the end of the year that will enable the wearer to view computer-generated content on the inside of their lenses.
They remind me of the military “heads-up display” (HUD) devices made by Seattle-based Microvision. Those devices, which also project images on the inside of the lens, enable soldiers to see maps and other data without having to look away from the battlefield.
Experts suggest that wearable computer components like those high tech glasses could be complemented with miniature speakers that look like ear studs. They say one day we could even have mobile devices implanted under our skin–just like the characters in those books I read so long ago.
But that’s not all. You could also get yourself a pair of “Beauty and The Geek” pants that feature a built-in computer keyboard, wireless mouse, and speakers. Not only stylish in a geeky sort of way; they also let you type on your actual lap–instead of on your laptop.
Whether or not you can get away with doing that in public is another matter altogether…