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Debating the Future of Wearable Technology

Debating the Future of Wearable Technology

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Wearable technology is on the rise. From tracking how many steps you take in a day to being able to check your email through your watch, more and more people are choosing to use wearable technology.

You can’t talk about wearable technology and not talk about the mother of all wearables, Google Glass. For those of you not familiar with Google Glass, it is basically like having your smartphone strapped to your face. You can do everything you can on a smartphone, only it’s right in front of your eyes…literally.

Google Glass has faced a lot of criticism, mostly from those who are not wearing it. The general public (those who do not have an extra $1,500 to spend on this product) does not like the idea of their privacy being violated. Someone wearing Google Glass can take a picture or even record anyone without their knowledge, which has lead to problems for the product’s wearer.

In this clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Google Glass enthusiasts attempt defend themselves against the critics, and even garner some sympathy:

The Daily Show
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In the video, the unofficial poster girl for Google Glass, Sarah Slocum, says that all the criticism is silly because everyone “is going to be wearing these things in a year probably”. Does Sarah have a point though? Obviously not everyone is going to be able to afford the high price tag that comes along with Google Glass, but what if price was no issue? Would people still want to wear the device? Using Qriously, we polled 250 people from all over the United States to see if they would like to wear Google Glass, if given the option. 34% said yes they would, 40% said no they would not, and 26% did not know what Google Glass was. It seems as though Google will have to work a little harder to make the majority of Americans Glass converts.

Google Glass Poll

But, is the trend for wearable technologies only benefiting the people who use it recreationally as “an interface between [themselves] and the real world”? We live in a culture that is becoming more and more infused with technology. So, how can we take these wearable devices and incorporate them into some of the most important aspects of everyday life? One suggestion that has gained serious momentum in the past few months urges that law enforcement officers should be required to wear a video camera on their bodies while on duty. The petition created on has received 151,812 signatures to date.

We reached out to Sarah Slocum for a comment about what practical applications Google Glass could have, especially pertaining to law enforcement.

“Google Glass has tremendous applications for law enforcement and citizen’s self protection. It can enable one to deter an aggressor and/or easily get photo or video evidence of a crime.”

So, should police officers be required to wear a body camera or other wearable technology? That remains up for debate, but according to this report from Rialto, CA, the number of complaints filed against the police force dropped 88% during the year that body cameras were in use. The use of force incidents also dropped by 59% during that time.

The one thing that is certain is that wearable technology is not going away any time soon. We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic!