Wearables: Can They be Practical & Look Good?

I had the privilege and great fun this past CES to join Joanna Stern personal technology columnist at the Wall St. Journal, Michael Bell – GM New Devices Group at Intel, Chris Glode – GM for Connected Devices at Under Armour, and Carmichael Roberts – partner North Bridge Venture Partners and MC10, in a discussion of wearables today and in the near future. In the advent of #AWE2015, I decided to share this panel talk now so we can see any evolution of thought which may have taken place over the past 5 months.

The panel discusses technology as it stands today – ugly, bulky, high battery consumption, and the need to still make hard choices during product design (high rez vs. transflective displays, compared to what will be – a fully connected ecosystem of wearable plus off body interaction with the environment, that looks good, feels good, is durable, allows for autonomy of action, all while effectively contextualizing data and presenting it in meaningful displays.

While there are certainly limitation such as display capabilities, battery life and chip set size, progress is being made. Intel recently released it’s Curie(TM) chip made specifically for the wearables marketplace. Increasingly, it looks like the technology is here. The question is how do we really want to use it and what will our imaginations enable us to think up next.

by Limor Schafman

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