Joe Sparrow : Bearable wearables

Any paradigm-busting™ tech revolution shows mis-steps along the way to ubiquity (hello, the sadly un-loved MiniDisc) but what about the mental mis-steps that pre-date the new tech itself?

A quick search for “iWatch” vomits thousands of what-if… images onto your screen, and they all seem to show a thing that goes on your wrist which looks like an iPhone screen. The curvy ones in particular look all future-y, and probably would have fitted in nicely with the concept drawings from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

But. Do you really simply want the screen of your iPhone on your wrist? Isn’t that what the phone’s for?

Do you even want 100-character snippets of emails and texts and tweets and Facebook updates and Yo alerts and Snapchat notifications and Instagram hearts and Foursquare suggestions buzzing your wrist every five minutes?

Shouldn’t wearable tech – or any new tech – do something that your existing glut of tech doesn’t do?

Instead of beaming some info about which song you’re streaming onto your wrist, what if the device tried to solve a real problem – say, song curation?

What if your playlist was seamlessly, brilliantly selected for you, via the sensing of blood flow, movement, location, mood, keywords, perspiration, agitation?

What if the iWatch doesn’t have a screen at all?