The wild world of wearable computers

By Julie Sartain, Network World |  Hardware, wearable technology

"Novero's video goggles are better than squinting in front of a seven-inch display on a plane (or whatever size it is), but it doesn't really add the kind of value augmented reality brings," says Ghubril. "And the WiMM, well, it just doesn't meet any of the above criteria (unobstructive, natural feeling, or stylish), it doesn't enable anything more, and its looks are underwhelming so just because there can be an Android watch, it doesn't mean one should have one."

"However, the Motorola wearable PC is an interesting proposition in that it enables field-workers," says Ghubril. "So, not really a consumer device, but it does begin to address an unmet need because, right now, field technicians and operatives have a whole slew of devices hanging off them whenever they're trying to get anything done. Motorola's hands-free solution is a step in the right direction," says Ghubril.

Hands Free Options

According to Darren Koffer, director of warehousing product solutions at Motorola Solutions,

Motorola's hands-free portfolio provides a flexible product line that supports text-only, voice-only, and combination voice and text-based applications, which empower workers who are scanning, picking, and sorting in high volumes to achieve new levels of efficiency and accuracy.

"In applications that demand the constant use of hands, wearable systems give workers the hands-free convenience to handle more tasks, while keeping the technology needed to further improve productivity and accuracy right at their fingertips including bar code scanning and mobile computing," adds Koffer. "But to realize the full potential of wearable computing, companies need to consider the ergonomics, performance, reliability, flexibility, and manageability of the overall solution."

So, What's Next?

"Wearable computers are about the individual, any communal affair would entail networking a few of these devices via WiFi, for example, and users would simply use the display in front of their eyes and the headset in their ears to collaborate. Holograms are useful when a projection can be made for a score of collaborators who could then literally walk around the 3D display and study it. If a wearable computer were in the form of a bracelet, a holographic projection would be a great way to view content. And, come to think of it, I'd rather put on a bracelet-type of wearable than a pair of glasses it's less obstructive," concludes Ghubril.

"I think the concept of ubiquitous computing and connected environments, using tools like the wildly popular Twine Kickstarter project, will start replacing wearables or, at a minimum, making wearables more lightweight, as data and triggers move from the wearable to the environment," says Silva.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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