Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends
How new technologies are modifying our way of life

jeudi 11 septembre 2003

In this article, BBC News Online says that fashion specialists and engineers are preparing the next generation of wearable computing fashion accessories.

Here are some examples of what exist today.

Bluetooth headsets can clip onto the ear and allow a wireless connection to your mobile and headsets with tiny screens attached to glasses allow wearers to see a computer screen.

But this technology is still too conspicuous and expensive, according to Joseph Dvorak, a researcher at Motorola US.

"Wearable computing can mean anything from a cell phone to a large computer in a backpack. But right now they are very visible and obvious with wires, headsets and twiddlers," he said.
Mr. Dvorak predicts the computers and technology we wear in four or five years time will not draw attention to ourselves.

Textile company SOFTswitch agrees and has already introduced a fabric used as an interface for controlling any kind of computer devices.

In January, the Burton Amp jacket, what is described as "the world's first and only wearable electronic jacket with an integrated Apple iPod" went on sale using SOFTswitch's technology.
Aimed at snowboarders and skiers, it was designed so that the iPod music player could be controlled from a flexible control pad embedded into the jacket's arm.

Here is how looks the control panel on the jacket's sleeve (Credit: SOFTswitch Ltd.).

The control panel on the jacket's sleeve

Dr. Dianne Jones from SOFTswitch thinks that the wearable computing industry will grow rapidly.

"I think within the next five years we'll see a lot more applications coming through, but it can be simply a garment that has basic electronic capability or interactivity."
"Certainly within the next 10 years we could [wear] 20% of garments with electronic components in them."

Source: Jo Twist, BBC News Online, September 9, 2003

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