Why use a wearable?

MIThril, a borglab production. Richard W. DeVaul, Jonathan Gips, Michael Sung, Sandy Pentland

The advantages of wearable computing.

There are many reasons to use wearable computing. Wearables augment and extend the capabilities of the wearer while preserving personal privacy and functioning over a wide range of situations and contexts. Wearable computing provides a means to leverage the power of personal information while at the same time providing the means to keep it private. Wearables consolidate the functionality of multiple devices into a single, integrated system.


Wearable computing enhances and empowers the wearer

Like any technology, wearable computing extends the reach and capabilities of a person. Wearables can provide enhanced communication, memory, sensing, recognition, and logistical skills. A wearable can filter your calls, provide a reference, monitor your health, remind you of a name, and help you catch a bus.


Trust and transparency; working for the wearer.

Unlike many technologies which work for someone else, a personal wearable is designed to facilitate, enhance, and work for the wearer. The user trusts the wearable because it belongs to them, because the interaction provides the user with sufficient oversight and understanding, and because the software's operation is understandable and open to evaluation (open source).


Turning Big Brother inside out.

Context awareness requires knowledge of context, which is gained through sensing and interpreting data from the wearer and the wearer's environment. This would be a privacy nightmare if this information were not under the wearer's control. The agency of the wearable turns the potential nightmare into a trusted, valuable resource.


Gadget creep sucks.

Consolidating applications into an integrated context-aware environment allows for the elimination of redundant batteries, wireless network interfaces, packaging, etc. More importantly, it allows a top-level attention manager to broker all of these applications to make the best possible use of the wearer's personal bandwidth.

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Introduction to Wearable Computing
Richard W. DeVaul
The second annual "I Wanna Be a Cyborg" event, a borglab production.