Sunday, 18 March 2007

Wearable Computing – Is it here?

10 years after I have got seen first see the crazy idea of wearable computing it appears that the technology is now really pushing into the marked. Even though one could argue whether or not this is really wearable computing (but this argument is as old as the idea of wearable computing). The last thing I would have expected 10 years ago was Bavarian Lederhosen with a built in user interface for an mp3-player. But nevertheless many challenges are still the same (integration with the aesthetics and fashion statement, durability and wash-ability, connectivity between computer and garment, integrated user interfaces) and some are nicely solved (

After Falke presented some years ago a sensor/ECG-t-shirt there was another one at CeBIT this year. It is not on the marked yet and it did not yet look fully convincing (you need to button in the electrodes). In our lab class on programming mobile systems we could use such a t-shirt. Currently we use stick on electrodes from which work really good but for the scenarios in mind having a t-shirt would be nicer.

In my recent entry on St. Petersburg I wondered about a communication glove. There was one on display – it includes only the essential (basically a speaker and a microphone) – but it enforced my opinion that creating a communication glove would be an interesting project. There were also hats with included speaker and microphones.

I was told that garments that keep warm – with active heating – are a hot topic ;-) Not fully convinced, but if projected consequently into the future it could change the way we dress completely. Want to show off you body at -20°C? Just power up the heating in your underwear a bit more and walk outdoors in your favourite summer dress without a coat. Not sure if this is the way we should push, I rather take my warm coat and save some energy. Apropos saving energy – there were interesting laptop bags with solar panels on the outside for harvesting energy.

1 comment:

new_tech said...

Hello blogger,
Thanks for the links and the informative posting.