Viva The Wearable Tech Revolution!
We can all agree that having a smart phone has changed our lives but as Tom Emrich—the third most influential person in wearable tech in the world and the founder of We Are Wearables explains, it also takes us away from the “real reality” around us. We are itching for a solution that has all of the benefits of our smart phones, but brings us back to the real world so that we can be the people that we’re supposed to be. Wearable tech allows us to naturally interact with the world while giving us easy access to information and computing. It brings computing to our bodies making us part of that computing interface. It augments the human experience making us better at everything we do. And then, one day, we’ll all become cyborgs of some sort!
But what about hacking? What about companies or corporations that deny us employment or services because they find that our biometrics isn’t so good? Data is a lucrative business and our data needs to be protected. We need to build safeguards for this tech and security and privacy need to be a priority for developers. Let’s all remember that technology is a tool and we can do good or evil with. As a technology optimist—I embrace technology and enjoy its benefits—but I’m also aware how fast our lives could become a Black Mirror episode if we don’t protect our privacy and we don’t educate ourselves about the power of emerging technologies to radically change our lives, brains, ethics, and our sense of self. (Space fans—you should listen to Tech’s Moral Reckoning by tech entrepreneur and Silicon Valley influencer Anil Dash).
Interestingly, news broke this week that Elon Musk is backing a brain-computer interface venture he calls Neurallink which is centred on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain to link them directly to computers. But who will have the privilege of getting this neural lace? Will only the rich have a computer-enhanced brain—contributing even more to the digital divide we see in the world? And what happens if (and when) AI becomes conscious—what kind of consciousness will it have? Will Musk’s neural lace actually prevent a person from becoming a “house cat” to artificial intelligence—as he hopes? And what if our brains get hacked?
And back to wearable tech—is our collective self-tracking obsession actually making us healthier, happier and thinner? Check out: Tracking down the root of our self-tracking obsession.
These are all important questions that we collectively need to explore, but in this segment we’re just having some fun!