This article by Jeremy Quittner appeared first in Inc. Magazine, April 9, 2013.
We offer it here because of the far-reaching potential it suggests for imaginative, innovative thinking.
Hold onto your hat (or cap, or hoodie) as the future races forward!
Brian Croswhite for The IDEAWorks® Team
From watches to glasses, soon we’ll all be wearing the Web.
Pretty soon, your smartphone will be as quaint as an eight-track player, replaced by a pair of computerized contact lenses that can predict the weather or deliver your Facebook feed. That’s wearable computing, which has already crafted a following among sports enthusiasts. You’re about to see it everywhere, through 3-D glasses, watches, and other personal devices that will shape your environment, explaining what you are seeing and what you can do with it.
“The inexorable trend of the Web is that it will be released from the page and be displayed on the real world,” says Michael Liebhold, a senior researcher specializing in wearable computing at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California.
Your opportunity? Think as big as the smartphone market.
Wearable computing is already big. And it’s only getting bigger–fast.
The industry is worth $800 million now, and it will double in a year– year!–says Juniper Research.
The technology is a barrier; it has a ways to go.
Always-on connections have to be managed, and dependability is still dicey. Battery life can be short in mobile devices. And ultimately, consumers have to be convinced they need this stuff.
Take note–the giants are watching…
Both Google and Microsoft are experimenting with computer-enhanced glasses, and Apple is working on watches. Nike already offers Bluetooth connections between certain sneakers and iPhones, iPods, and watches that calculate workout stats. Start-up Pebble raised $10 million in 30 days on Kickstarter for a watch that downloads data from your phone.
…But that’s not all bad
Big tech and VCs may eventually become investors, trolling the start-up world for the Next Big Thing.
Best Prior Job
Design engineer or industrial designer
Augmented reality: Computer-generated objects that appear within the real world. Liebhold predicts we’ll start seeing wearable devices that produce augmented reality before 2025.
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