Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Losing All Fear Of Wearable Devices (Or How I Began to Love My New Parietal Lobe)

It will become normal. I remember when I first came to New York and you'd see these people walking around talking to themselves, and I'd think "New York, right? Must be just another poor crazy person in the city." Then it dawned on me that they were talking on their cellphones via a headpiece as they walked. In retrospect, I can't see how I missed those large bulging earpieces from those days.

Wearable computing is the next step, and I think some of the technologies will progress beyond mere augmentations of ocular senses. For example, a small nugget that initially looks like a nose-piercing could in fact fan out a protective cover when, say, a foul odor such as someone passing gas is detected, protecting the wearer from having to experience that bad sensation. You laugh, but extrapolate, and similar sensors could shield the wearer from any harmful airborne toxins that may be making the rounds. Each piece must be carefully shaped to accommodate the nose it is intended for, creating a luxury business at the best of times and critical survival capability during the worst. Another change could be that instead of rings of diamond and gold--pretty to look at, but useless in function--betrothed would wear rings that if squeezed on one side of the world, would elicit that sense of touch right across the globe and she would know he was thinking of her (either that, or he spilled relish and mustard on his hand while eating a hot dog and was rubbing it all away with one of these 'under-sleeves' she had insisted he wear).

The step after that will be the trans-human phase, where the distinction between man and machine is entirely blurred. Vehicle manufacturers will either close down or be at the bleeding edge, offering humans the ability to travel at the speed of various vehicles, except without the vehicles--just their modified bodies. Employees at companies will be told to upgrade their eardrum with internally placed auditory motors which provide not only a constantly soothing corporate sound-collage, but also ensure that even those with worst natural sense of balance can do their job while walking a tight-rope. (Of course, savvy employees will have these hacked in the aftermarket with motors that help their bodies balance in such a way that they can step foot upon walls, and travel happily along the rooftop, upside down).

The tongue will be replaced with a sort of receptacle with a type of scoop that comes out and detects while projecting taste sensations at x1000 what we taste today (like the limits of human visual capability are known today, the limitations of the tongue will be exposed tomorrow, and surpassed).

Kissing a girl will never be the same again.

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