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Piers Fawkes: How Wearable Tech Will Augment The Human Experience

PSFK Founder Piers Fawkes introduces the ideas about emerging technologies from the Future of Wearable Tech series.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
Piers Fawkes, PSFK on January 21, 2014. @piers_fawkes

A perfect storm of innovation in micro-chips, mobile tech, software development, energy efficiency and manufacturing has set the stage for one of the most important eras in computing’s history.

In the next five years we will witness the rapid development - and mainstream acceptance – of wearable technology that integrates into every aspect of our lives. Wearable technology will be used to help record the world around us, nudge us into action, communicate information between one another, allow us to control our environment, verify who we are and reflect our wellbeing back to us.

Proteus Digital Health

Much of the innovation will develop first through wristbands. A lot of the ideas we describe in the Future of Wearable Tech report will be deployed through these accessories, including the ability to control our privacy by acting as a password device or even interacting with the environment around us.

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Other jewelry-like devices will follow – including rings and necklaces. While there is a lot of speculation around the use of computerized glasses, our analysis suggests that while these heads-up displays will offer a unique range of options, they may not develop the full range of services that other wearables like smart clothing might offer. To that end, sensors embedded within clothing will provide a with array of benefits over the next two to five years, with several focused on improving our health and wellbeing.

In three or more years, we will start to see an initial acceptance of technology that will be embedded in our bodies. By 2018, bio-integrated computing will have moved from the fringes, where it’s at today, to a place where early adopters will widely experiment with it. For those of us who may not be ready for the scalpel, wearables that we can still take on and off will still change the way we work, live and play.

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I hope you’ll enjoy the Future of Wearable Tech report and accompanying editorial series that will run for ten weeks on iQ by Intel. We hope that it will spark an ongoing conversation and lead to the awesome augmentation of the human experience.

The Future of Wearable Tech series by iQ by Intel and PSFK Labs explores the evolving form and function of our connected devices. Over the course of 10 weeks at iq.intel.com, we’ll look at the latest designs and features, examine their impact on consumer lifestyles and get reactions from Intel experts. Download a free copy of the accompanying report here.

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