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iPod “Bangle” And Other Wearable Computers Are Sweet Conceptual Dreams



The New York Times’ Bits blog posted a piece on wearable computers that has all the Apple fans in a tizzy thanks to this one line about a project headed by a small group at the Cupertino company:

One idea being discussed is a curved-glass iPod that would wrap around the wrist; people could communicate with the device using Siri, the company’s artificial intelligence software.

Cue the concept art!

iBangle concept art by Gopinath Prasana via Yanko Designs

by Gopinath Prasana via Yanko Designs

This isn’t a bad idea, really, nor is it particularly new. Essentially the post is about how both Apple and Google are trying to capitalize on the growing smartphone trend to create devices that are even more integrated into our lives.  We’re talking glasses with heads-up displays or small, thin, perhaps even fashionable bracelets that communicate with the phone in our pocket to tell us when we have a call or text or remind us that our meeting starts in 20 minutes.

We’re already seeing the beginning of this. Smartwatches and devices like the MotoACTV are wearable and use communication with a smartphone to deliver small bits of data. I won’t be shocked if, the next time Apple upgrades the iPod nano, it’s even more smartwatchy than the MotoACTV and includes some element of Siri. And since Google now owns Motorola Mobility, they are free to take the MotoACTV concept and build it out.

Plus, we’re starting to see a resurgence in Bluetooth headsets. If these $120K jeweled headphones are any indication, we’ll soon all be wearing them without fear of looking like an ass. And then, of course, we’ll have entered into the world of that Doctor Who episode where the Cybermen took over the world because everyone wore Bluetooth earpieces all the time.

That aside, the idea of wearable devices that use the smartphone as a hub is a sweet idea. Especially the thing about the glasses. My only (admittedly vague) worry is the increase in the number of wireless signals being passed back and forth across my body all the time.

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