Are we missing the point in all the hype over the iWatch®?
The word “watch” in this Apple product name is actually a verb. It has only incidental connection to telling time, in much the same way that GoogleGlass® has little to do with improving vision.
Yes, I own four watches, fine timepieces, and I don’t wear a one of them. They’re all tucked away in the safe, and are now only right twice a day. They are all beautifully wearable…but they are not wearable computers.
The wearable processing markets have been of great interest for a quite a while. Both the physical technology and the software has reached a point where the interface is more comfortable and practical. The glasses and wrist watches are naturals for increasing comfort levels with the transition to future forms of technological integration with the human form.
From dental implants to pacemakers to knee replacements, “Boomers” were the first generation to have embraced the idea of mechanical and technological integration with the human body for capability enhancement. We were willing to be the guinea pigs for invasive bionics, and we’re pretty much okay with it.
The iWatch® & GoogleGlass® are merely the newest members of the transition technologies designed to shift next generations into a more intimate relationship with technology, and a new set of value propositions and expectations. Miniaturization has brought us to nanotechnology. Medical advancement has brought us to biotechnology. Social media has inoculated an entire generation against the concept of personal privacy, not to mention the intense interest of government and business in tracking what we’re all doing. It’s all moving along a fairly predictable trajectory, converging on a likewise predictable Orwellian point in the near term.
It probably won’t be a generation before wearing a computer becomes a burdensome inconvenience. We’ll then likely see the introduction of the iTooth and/or the iBall, implants that provide I/O portals for everything from information exchange to easy ingress and egress for nanites. Want to see pictures, or a movie/video? The iBall will deliver it straight to your brain via the optic nerve, and will be able to incorporate tastes and smells into the experience. Want music or “surround sound” in the movies? The iTooth will rattle your skull with sound delivered right up your jawbone and through your sinus cavities directly into the inner cranial regions. We’re moving closer to “The Matrix” in which everyone has an iHole by which we can exchange information with the digital dimension. (In case you’re interested, the domain names iTeeth.com or iTooth.com, iHole.com andiBall(s).com are already taken, and will be worth a fortune once Apple gets that far.)
Yes, iWatch® is a verb, and that begs the question of who the “I” is in that name.
Copyright 2014 – Robert D. Jones – All Rights Reserved
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