Fashion Tech 1992

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11 Responses:

  1. Line Noise says:

    Tracey Curro! I used to have a crush on her while growing up in Australia.

  2. Grego says:

    Instead of Tracey Curro's glorious wearable technotopia, 24 years later we're all walking around holding and staring into little rectangles. What went wrong?

  3. Nate says:

    This was ridiculous even back then. Doug Platt and Thad Starner were taking a more serious approach to it than this NEC lab.

    NEC made CDROMs, so of course their wearable demo had to have one. But typically these were based on palmtop computers, chording keyboards, and a small LCD HUD.

  4. Stalin says:

    The thing that always surprises me about wearable tech is how, despite the fact that the people designing it have had decades to notice this, they keep making devices that are "fashion statements". People don't want a device to be a fashion statement; they want it to do the thing that it's supposed to do when it's supposed to do it, and not be actively uglifying, and that's it.

    If it's the kind of thing that people are supposed to have with them at all times, it must be wieldy (i.e small in volume and lightweight with respect to the body part it's attached to), and unobtrusive. These things? Are enormous and do nothing but take up space 90% of the time, while making the wearer look like a complete idiot. There is no wardrobe that will match any of this.

    Google glass had the same drawbacks, except in that case the thing it was actively uglifying was the middle of the wearer's face.

    Of course there's a temptation to make the thing futuristic-looking, but that's just profoundly idiotic. The most futuristic device isn't the one that's more curvy or idiotically overdesigned; it's the device that's so small, unobtrusive, or invisible most of the time that- when it behaves the way it's supposed to- it just makes the wearer seem to have magical powers. Which would you rather have; a laser gun, or the ability to shoot lasers out of your hands, seemingly at will?

    • Nate says:

      I agree completely. That's why the Apple Watch is acceptable (not great yet, though). It's just a watch and looks not that different from any other watch.

      My friend has the Fitbit designed by some fashion designer and it's literally a gold band with a small amount of mesh you can see the screen through. Even after being told it's electronic, you have to push a button to see that it's not just a bracelet.

    • gryazi says:

      I kind of agree, but Glass was still about as minimal as they could make it barring tech to actually use any pair of glasses. Glass's big fuck-up seems related to unobtrusiveness (and you-have-no-privacy-get-over-it syndrome) - it contains a camera, and the camera is always potentially active (give or take one software controlled LED), and I think people reacted more viscerally to the idea of a dork who's talking to his glasses and possibly recording them than just the idea of a dork talking to his glasses. One is a quirk and the other is actively creepy.

      Obviously AR is a big selling point for something glasses-based, but I wonder if the oh fuck you Google backlash would've been muted if the camera was pop-out and blind when stowed. (Of course, speaking of muting, microphones are a whole 'nother story, but people seem okay with their phones because ???.)

  5. graphex says:

    I'm still waiting for the tech that lets me fax my notes back to my secretary.

  6. Miguelitosd says:

    I remember watching this show on Discovery. In fact, I think I remember that segment. It was laughable even then.

    For some reason, I always loved the British pronunciation of aluminum as "Al-U-min-ium"

    Weird.. I tried to post with the FB connect (which I've done before) but when I pushed Post Comment it popped up a little "please set this option" or similar popup in the top left corner of the page by the bookmark toolbar..

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