Wearable technology is the current darling of the technology industry. It was all over CES2014, and it seems that every tech company worth its salt has some kind of smart watch, glasses or belt buckle in the works. This is what all those companies are betting will be the future of tech and it makes sense: it’s in many ways the natural evolution from smartphones. These are devices that do everything for us and that live constantly in our pockets and hands, but they also need to be constantly removed from said pocket and inserted into said hand to be any use. This limits their use-cases, whereas having a device like a watch or glasses that can be ‘ever present’ and always ready to go will remove that barrier and ensure that always connected to the information, media and people that matter to us…
The question is how this is going to impact on our lifestyles and more specifically, which aspects of our lives are going to see the biggest changes.
And one interesting area to look at is driving and travel. How might this be affected by having a powerful computer strapped to your wrist or to your head?
If you’re struggling to see the significance, then consider how much easier it would be to use a satellite navigation system if it was already in your field of vision. While using a GPS device is always easy, it’s not particularly convenient all the time to have to glance down at a device sitting on the dashboard. In fact this can cause accidents.
Google Glass already has the ability to give you directions that appear to be arrows almost floating on the roads pointing the way to your destination, but imagine how this might be of further use in a car if they were to appear on the roads – alongside speed limits and other useful information.
Likewise you could also use this to give you a range of other information, whether that’s information about your car (fuel, speed etc.) or time until you arrive. You could also get updates with regards to traffic.
This could also help to provide a more intuitive and less intrusive user interface for taking calls with a hands-free kit, which would be much safer for instance than looking at a readout to see who is calling located on the dashboard. This way you could create a truly ‘heads up’ display to ensure eyes remain safely on the road and all information comes to you.
As this technology advances, so too will its potential uses. Imagine for instance a car with a camera attached to the back – this could then give you a rear-view literally in your line of sight, allowing you to multitasking by seeing all around your vehicle. If that sounds like too much for your brain to copewith then think again: studies involving a similar technology for use by fighter pilots have shown that ‘brain plasticity’ will allow the brain to adapt to these multiple streams of information. You could even potentially get a view of the inside of your cargo trailers this way.
You could also couple this with video-analysis software to create all kinds of other promising features. Imagine for instance if your HUD could show you your current safe stopping distance at the current speed, or if it could outline potential hazards and draw them to your attention. It could even provide some form of communication with other drivers on the road to potentially help traffic move more smoothly and with less incident.
Any new technology though creates new conversations and new controversies. Would advertising be allowed in such use scenarios? And how about answering text messages? This isn’t allowed by phone, but if you’ve already got that much usable information in front of your eyes, would a few extra features make that much difference?
Either way, it’s clear that wearable tech has a lot of potential application for drivers and transport in general. It’s important we begin this discussion now, because this tech is really just around the corner…
Author Bio: Warren Brown is a freelance blogger and an ace creative write with many years of experience writing for top blogs. Warren has written on a myriad of topics and has written several posts for us.