Not If, But When (And Wear)

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Have you ever worn Google Glass? A FitBit tracker? Some other wearable device?

If so, what impressions did you take away from the experience? If not, can you visualize yourself sporting glasses that make you look like you just stepped off an episode of Star Trek?

I’m somewhat of a technologist and technophile, yet I can’t imagine wanting to wear Google Glass or a similarly unusual and conspicuous device in everyday life.

Even regular routine like trading on the stock market has changed, thanks to online trading software like Millionaire Blueprint which removes the need for a physical investor and does all the trading for you. many are not keen on investing their money through a machine, which will read the charts and take the investment calls but for those who are not too well versed with the stock market, they need help. Today help is available online, in this format.

Many investors themselves use automated software which relieves them from having to sit in front of the computer all day long, watching the numbers go up and down. No matter how much these software grow, there are many who still resist this change brought on by the technologies.

There are people who are not too keen on using these latest technologies and want what they grew up with – simplicity and more human interactions. One never had to wear a device to monitor their heart beat, they were physically active all day long and the number of steps they took in a day was not worth counting. Frankly, it made no difference to them.

People never wore glasses to experience a different world. It was always just left to their imagination. Today, one can experience a whole different world, right in their seats, by just donning a different pair of glasses. There are people who are still resisting this change and are trying to hold on to the earlier technologies.

Still, the flow of technology seems to inevitably move us in that direction. So, how will the industry unfold? I predict three stages:

  1. Inconspicuousness: We’ll begin by wearing devices that others can’t see, such as in-shoe trackers. These devices promise a range of easily imaginable benefits at no cost to our image. Provided they’re usable and affordable, I can’t imagine we’ll much hesitate to don them. In fact, many already do.
  2. Fashionability: Some innovative company, likely Apple, will release a device that’s noticeable but unobtrusive, something like an iWatch. Early adopters will jump on such devices, and because of the devices’ intrinsic attractiveness, mainstream users (Geoffrey Moore’s “early majority”) won’t hesitate to follow suit.
  3. Ubiquity: Having tasted wearable technology under the guise of fashion, users will gradually lose their aversion to the idea. In this stage, wearable devices will become increasingly common from head to toe. One writer recently called this stage “borgification.” I prefer to label such a phenomenon with a less obnoxious term: “ubiquity.”

These three stages imply three concurrent sine qua non conditions that makers of wearable devices will need to meet: (1) affordability, (2) inoffensiveness, and (3) usability. Google Glass has, so I read, largely failed on all three counts—the device appeals only to the subset of early adopters who have both wealth to burn and no concern for their image.

But if the rumors about Apple announcing an affordable, fashionable and usable iWatch later this year prove correct, then mainstream users, such as myself, might—sooner than we imagine—move one step closer to ubiquity of wearable devices. Let’s just hope that doesn’t mean “borgification.”

Featured image courtesy of UpRating.com via Flickr.