Wearable computers are computers that are worn on the body.
Wearable computers are especially useful for applications that require computational support while the user's hands, voice, eyes, arms or attention are actively engaged with the physical environment.
One of the main features of a wearable computer is consistency.
Another feature is the ability to multi-task.
It can therefore be an extension of the user’s mind and/or body .
How does a Wearable Computer look?
A typical wearable computer will have a motherboard worn inside a fashion garment, connecting all the components of the system.
The components will be placed at different parts of the body as per the user convenience.
User input to the computer is either mostly voice driven or sensed from gestures or body motion.
The display and audio output generated by the computer will be relevant to the context and environment.
EXAMPLES OF WEARABLE COMPUTERS
The first wearable computer could be as early as the 1500s with the invention of the pocket watch.
The system was a concealed cigarette-pack sized analog computer designed to predict roulette wheels.
A data-taker would use microswitches hidden in his shoes to indicate the speed of the roulette wheel, and the computer would indicate an octant to bet on by sending musical tones via radio to a miniature speaker hidden in a collaborators ear canal.
“ Private eye” concept originated by Thad Starner and being developed by Bradley Rhodes at the MIT Media Lab.
As you enter a room, your wearable computer could sense the people present and remind you of their names or personal history.
In 2002, as part of Kevin Warwick’s Project Cyborg, Warwick's wife, Irena, wore a necklace which was electronically linked to Warwick's nervous system via an implanted electrode array.
The color of the necklace changed between red and blue dependent on the signals on Warwick's nervous system.
Eurotech offers the ZYPAD, a wrist wearable touch screen computer with GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and which can run a number of custom applications.
Steve Mann now uses an ultra compact computer, which is hooked up to a special pair of eyeglasses that captures audio and video and can display things to him like a computer monitor. Mann can interact with the computer through voice commands and it is with him at all times.
The glove controlled interface that the actor Tom Cruise manipulates in the film. Using a special pair of gloves, cruise can control a large screen in front of him, moving digital objects.
Immediate access to important data for anyone whose occupation requires mobility, such as real estate agents, rural doctors, fire and police professionals, lawyers in courtrooms, military personnel, and many others.
The ability to take notes immediately. For example, for reporters, geologists, botanists, vendor show representatives.
Wearable Computers can be used to recognize a person in a high alerted area such as an airport.
Able to use wearable computers to complete daily tasks such as a computer which tracks the movements and habits of a person.
Makes tasks more easier such as Wearable Computers can be used by Surgeons (a Wearable Computer attached to their arms),
Equipment can be heavy.
Some Wearable Computers can consist of a lot of wiring.
Can cause irritation in heat.
Side-Effects such as Headaches.
Can be used to gain an unfair advantage over others such as Casinos.
Wearable computer will provide safety, efficiency and comfort for users.
True extension of mind and body.
Enhance the quality of life of the user at work place and in all parts of daily life.