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Photos From Wearable Computer Fashion Show 132

Bud writes "Behind this URL you can find photos from the wearable computers fashion show at Internet World 99." This is pretty disturbing. Definitely worth a good laugh or three. Then again... models ;)
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Photos From Wearable Computer Fashion Show

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  • is it just me, or was this more of a fashion show
    appealing to people who like the "futuristic" look?

    I couldnt even see any displays in a lot of those
    pictures =/

    why cant they just show what some of these
    wearables would look like when people wear normal
    clothing?? (not that I didnt enjoy the models...
  • Is there any information or links on the specification of any of these devices?

    What do they do? How to program or develop applications for them?

    How much RAM? What kind of processing power?

    What kind of input? And what kind of output?

    Why are there no photos demonstrating the usage of these devices?

    Thanks for any information on this.

    P.S. Being a toy/console/gadget coding geek I would like to know programming information for any of these silly toys.

    Corrinne Yu
    3D Game Engine Programmer
    3D Realms/Apogee

    Corrinne Yu
    3D Game Engine Programmer
  • This should further reinforce the stereotype that geeks and nerds have no fashion sense.
  • image: Trinity-looking model in skin-tight vinyl jumpsuit.

    caption:"Hands Free Poultry Inspection System: Food inspection workers need to make written reports without tying up their hands. Designed at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, this voice activated computer can allow poultry workers to create reports completely hands free. "

    direct link []

  • Mmmmmm models..

    Question: what was with the two tasty numbers in black swimsuits? It didn't have any commentary at the bottom of the picture, just some very nice pictures. :-)

    Also, those devices looked pretty stupid, except for the "SQUI" which looked interesting..

  • by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @05:45AM (#1439466) Homepage
    To save you time, I have links to the only two pictures you really want to see

    Pic One []
    Pic Two []

    None of these really show that much in terms of wearable computers, mostly just dumb looking shiny costumes, so you might as well just look at the two that show some skin and go back to coding :)

  • on his shirt. Man, that guy's got ATTITUDE! Either that, or he's really hung over.
  • Or does the wearable stuff just not seem anywhere close to really functional. I mean, the map-necklace was interesting, but I don't think I want to be staring through the little hole while doing 65 on the interstate. It's not that it's a bad idea at all, but still I believe that technology is just frankly too big right now to make workable wearables. The stuff that's out there is still questionable, and I sure wouldn't want to wear it for 6-8 hours straight. Give me a wearable (The glasstron glasses are getting there) that I can walk up with negligible weight attached, and serial into a box so I can admin it with little effort. Xterm in a set of glasses and a Palm Pilot. I'd consider that really useful. It's not that I don't like new tech, but I just have to like really swift tech. Still looks like people carrying around rocks and boulders. Just my $.02
  • If there are women like that wearing Hands Free Poultry Inspection Systems... I'm going to start spending more time at poultry farms!
  • When I go outside or travel I am usually happy to leave my computer behind. All this means is that you can look like a moron with a computer strapped to your waist. Not that getting a few e-mails is bad, but most phones do that already. We have the Palm VII, phones with web browsers, and pagers that send and recieve e-mail. Why do we need this wearable crap?
  • Or are they dry clean only?
  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @05:49AM (#1439472) Homepage Journal
    I attend one of the schools where there is active research into wearable computers. After overhearing a discussion on the possibility of eye damage due to the amount of time spent closely viewing a computer screen with one eye, I am now very skeptical about wearable computers. I would hate for them to become like cell phones (y'know they might cause brain tumors but we've already gotten so used to using them it's hard to stop), the killer app that might actually kill you. I am now interested in how much research is done to see if potential eye damage is expected and if so how it will be combatted.

    I for one know that with the amount of time I already spend in front of a computer risking carpal tunnel syndrome, it would be a real b*tch to add possible eye damage to my list of occupational hazards.
  • Or just naturally stupid-looking.
  • This one shows how ridiculous the fashion industry really is. Hell, I mean, I really enjoy watching beautiful women and girlies in pretty dresses and beach-outfits. Everything seems to fit on them, even all kinds of gears and goggles.

    That doesn't mean it's going to look like that on me! ;(

    But maybe... Just Maybe if I buy one of those devices, maybe I'll get the girl too.. d:)

    - Steeltoe
  • it should be the GNU/Wearable Computer Fashion Show.

    While the products make up the operational part of the fashion show, without the GNU tools, it would be incomplete.
  • So in the future PDA's will get more powerful, and people will wear them instead of carrying them. Oh yeah and will continue to create a bunch of mostly useless devices like the poultry thing. Great. To the new age of computing. May it be the same as the last.

    Conscience is the inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking. []

  • but kinda big. I always wanted a computer in a portable-CD-player-like case. It should look like normal CD player. Open the lid, and find LCD screen and tiny keyboard inside. Or better two LCD screens, one or both of them being touchscreens. [silly, laugh]I've heared that XFree86 can do multihead stuff now[/silly].

    Of course there SHOULD be a CD player/CDROM inside as well. And probably a GSM phone, too.

    Moderate this down (-1, Wishful Thinking)

  • I would hate for them to become like cell phones (y'know they might cause brain tumors but we've already gotten so used to using them it's hard to stop)

    I keep hearing that, but I've never heard of a single case where that happened. I think it's just tech paranoia. Does anyone have any conclusive proof of this kind of thing?


  • well folks, this consolidates it. After seeing this my insomnia worsend 8 fold.

    I'm not going to be able to sleep for at least 3 more years.

    Even being a wearable enthusiast...
    I'm like.... frightened.
  • Yeah right, beautiful women in skin-tight Matrix-esque Avenger-like black vinyl cat suits inspect poultry for a living. Maybe in your futurama fantasy world they do. Ouch. Like Vendela in that silver dress. This is a step up from her Hardee's commercials. I'm still looking for Angelina Jolie to be wearing the latest rubber outfit and portable computer(that you can't even see) for "high school lunch lady of the future"

    Wait, was there something about portable computers I missed?
  • I could swear I saw that site get slashdotted right before my eyes; the first pix downloaded nice and fast, but their server ground to a halt even as I watched!

    My favorite was that pink and orange Flash Gordon dress. I'll bet my older daughter would look great in one of those. Too bad I saw this too late for Christmas.

    Also there were a few nice boots Nitrozac might want to check out. I mean even after 1/1/2000 when everything breaks, she'd still be able to use them as boots.

    Yours WDK -

  • by MattMann ( 102516 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @06:03AM (#1439486)
    Women's clothing made from computer parts will get twice as skimpy every 18 months.

    Researchers in the lab are reportedly bumping up against physical limits, so frequently that it doesn't seem accidental. They hope many of the obstacles will turn out to be surmountable, though it will require a breakthrough to get beyond the current limit, the so-called "Moore's thong".

  • "Is there any information or links on the specification of any of these devices?"
    You can find the specs here [].

    "And what kind of output?"
    Dude, that is just so sick!

    "Why are there no photos demonstrating the usage of these devices?"
    You can find pictures of the "devices" being used

    Goodbye karma(TM), I'm going to miss you...

  • Since it is obvious that this show would never use models who weren't technically inclined ... I want to know which University has these kind of women in the EE or CS deparments! I want to transfer!


  • wearable computers are for people who need to work with their hand(s) free, perhaps field technicians/maintainence crew, doctors, etc etc. such devices will probably appeal to the professional market rather than the general population. As for a more mainstream market, I'm sure Madison Avenue could find a way to portray wearable computers as being "hip" if they really wanted to, but insofar as practical applications go, cell phones and pagers will probably be more appealing to the masses for practical reasons (smaller bulk/mass for acceptable functionality). Then again, if you can run Quake on one of these things... :)
  • Look at the article (or just the abstract if you're lazy) here [].
  • "Teeny weeny internet bikini"
  • "The Girls of the Internet. Oooh, I'd go online with them any day!!"

  • A big help! You could probably IPO on the basis of that idea.
  • Thank you for that wonderful excuse to look at beautiful, shapely women in nice, revealing clothing for work reasons.

  • You're definitely not alone!

    There are probably many reasons that people want this...

    1) They *NEED* to feel important. If they miss a second, it will thoroughly impact the rest of their life. I say screw that. If it is that important, leave me a voice mail and I'll eventually get to it.

    2) They *WANT* to be on the hemorraging edge of technology. Who cares if it is functional, attractive or what-not. Again, this will lend the need to being noticed and feeling important. Why do people *need* cell phones and land-line phones? At first, it's "the bigger the better." Remember bag phones? It was to get noticed. Now cell phones are sold on every street corner, people don't need to be seen that much, so they're smaller. Mine is 6 ounces and fits in a shirt pocket.

    Sad? Yes.

  • After viewing the models, I expected one of them to wear something which read 1-8-0-0-c-a-l-l-a-t-t.
  • Did they let the undersexed designers of these devices meet the models? I would figure out how to cram a beowulf cluster into a bikini if it meant I could hang with Vendela.
  • Damn! I mean, there's only one OS to commit to. And with the advent of the Athlon, there's only one CPU. And with the GeForce 265, there's only one video card. And only one SB Live!...


    Now I have to worry about color coordinating my new PC to my suit?

    "Honey, which PC goes better with pin-stripes?"

    "Oooh, those ribbon cables really bring out the gleam of your FireWire ports."

    "Don't you know you're no supposed to wear beige after Labor Day!?"

    "Is that a joystick in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

    ... and my personal favorite ...

    "That Beowulf cluster would look great crumpled at the foot of my bed. How'sa 'bout it?"
  • Agreed.

    What happened to the wearable computers that were being worked on so feverantly a few years ago? I recall numerous ideas for incredably small displays mounted on glasses, or projected on the lenses, ect. I even saw a p-200 for sale w/ a cylindrical keyboard and available eye piece ( for ~$20,000 it was a _full_ computer ) I'd think these things have come a ways since then..

    uin: 4e8343

    Have you ever wondered if the whole point of humanity is to be assimilated?

  • Definitely. These things will be great for the workplace if called-for.

    I just have questions for people who would walk around by choice with these things -- on vacation, or in a restaurant, or out fishing, or not at work.

  • Or that boring and stupid people are sheep who follow every trendy gimmick in order to conform.
  • Seek and ye shall find... The best portal out there for wearables right now (IMNSHO) is Wearables Central []
    which links off to MIT's page, various independent pages, and a rather comprehensive list of hardware and
    software vendors.

    Yummy stuff. I'm still waiting for my M1 to arrive, although I've been seeing more and more about Retinal
    Painting displays, like the one Thad Starner is sporting in this picture []

    Now _that_ is a HUD.

  • by sjanes71 ( 2217 ) <> on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @06:25AM (#1439505)
    First of all, I wouldn't want to look like I was junked up on heroin [] while I wear a 10-key shirt keyboard on my heart. ;) [I'm joking!] Otherwise, for a wearable to make sense to me, it would have to include some things...
    1. A lightweight operating system. Of course, that means running PalmOS. Sad to say, Linux [] doesn't have the applications for this kind of situation (yet?).
    2. Cryptofinancial Privacy. Use iButton [](s) to store things like private keys and other cryptofinancial information. For now, I'll have to be content with GNU Keyring [] on my Palm IIIx. Confinitiy's PayPal [] gets a poke in the eye until they get their act together and make a Linux installer for their Palm software.

      Regarding PayPal: I encourage everyone to open an account (it's free unless you want to use it, then you will have to put some money in it-- personally, I won't be putting any money into it until I can put the PayPal software into my Palm from my Linux box.) and then dropping them a note saying that you would like a Linux installer for the Palm software.
    3. Real Style. Not look like something from Logan's Run [www.sciflic]. Technology is at its best when its subtle and unnoticable. A Palm device in your pocket or purse is pretty unnoticable (until you start using it, then the Unknowing clamor about it 'Ooh, what is that?')
    4. Cesium-133 Timepeice Accuracy. It should know how to set its time/date from the Atomic Clock in Fort Collins, CO.
    5. Where are ya?. If you're going to put in any kind of radio receiver, you might as well throw a GPS receiver in it so you don't get lost. Or, at the least, be really annoying when you can say "If we keep walking at this rate, we'll get to Fargo in 345 days, 6 minutes, 35 seconds!"
    6. Remote control. A really strong IR transceiver for remote control applications. It would be really nice if I didn't have to get up off the couch to grab a remote. Cripes, I've got like 10 of them on the coffee table.
    Note that I do not advocate the MP3 player, etc. I think the wearable is more about control-- control of your financials (ala the new Wallet), control of your time (ala never worrying about what time it is), your style (ala don't be a fashion slave), where you want to go (ala I know how close I am to getting somewhere) and your stuff (ala CHANGE THE CHANNEL ALREADY! TURN OFF THAT TELETUBBY CRAP! ARRGGH!).

    Otherwise, I think the show was mostly an opportunity to show off sexy-sexy models wearing either Goretex or shiny black vinyl. :)
    computers://use.urls. People use Networds.

  • one word...bah!
  • by / ( 33804 )
    God says it should be the God/Wearable Computer Fashion Show.

    While the products make up the operation part of the fashion show, without the breasts, it wouldn't be complete.
  • Try this article [] that suggests that Motorola is trying to suppress the results of these people [] studies.
  • oops...forgot to get rid of meh sig
  •'s a question. Can anyone tell me why the doctor model (the one modeling the sensor glove) is also wearing one of those head mirror things? Personally, I haven't seen one of those since Quincy got cancelled.
  • So would that accually be classified as a bathing suit, or just something that looks like a bathing suit. As I doupt one would go swimming in wearable tech.
  • I am sure you can get a nice laptop for less than these things, and that will actually have a display that will be more than a gameboy-style view window. We already have stuff for doctors and other people who need to do data recording and viewing, Palm Pilots and Libretto palmtops do quite nicely. I don't see why I need to wrap a computer around my neck or strap it to my ass to get work done. I guess we wil just have to put up with the wierdos who will be gluing motherboards to their clothes for a while.

    To those who want to look more important, I would suggest:

    1) Buy some poster board and make a wearable sign announcing your importance to the world

    2) If you are so important, why don't you have someone else to do all that computer crap for you? Hire someone to walk behind you with a bunch of tech stuff.

    -Andrew Schaefer
  • I've seen this a couple of times before and could swear once it was from a link from a /. link.

    Fashion, my foot. It's just the usual bunch of MIT people, one of whom happens to be a former model who understands PR and how to put together a press event, which when you think about it is itself a newsworthy development in the hardware arena. This ugly stuff and the company's ugly website got quite a bit of coverage back in October.

    Quick, somebody hire an image consultant for Steve Mann.
  • I think the person who figures out how to integrate wearable PC's with the electronic dance music scene will create a new subculture. I'm thinking along the lines of S.R. Delany's cyberpunk book Dhalgren in which street gangs have wearable hologram devices that augment their appearence to huge psychedelic glowing creatures and such.

    A wearble PC that could generate interactive visuals and chatting would be so cool! A virtual consensual hallucination (drug free) could be created that would really fit in well with techno and dancing.

    Seeing those supermodels in bikinis and techware was pretty funny. But the borgish "ick-factor" was really absent in me when I looked at those pics. I can really see these things becoming all pervasive.

  • I'd rather try cramming my Beowulf into Vendela in a Mongolian ClusterF...

    ...Oh never mind :)

  • IHNJH, IJLS "bumping up against physical limits"
  • Was it just me or did anyone else find the model in the black suit with the banana strapped to her chest [] rather disturbing?

    I don't think the world is ready for wearable PC's just yet. Besides, as was stated in a previous post, we already have cell phones and palm pilots that recieve email or browse the web. Cell phones already cause enough car accidents as it is. Just think of all the slashdotters we might lose when their /. addiction forces them to drive off the side of the road. ;)
  • is it just me, or was this more of a fashion show
    appealing to people who like the "futuristic" look?

    I'm going to have to agree with you, for a couple o' reasons:
    1. the clothing had to be the worst conglomeration of sundry materials I've ever seen
    2. none of the technology on display looked like it was useful
    3. how the ?!? can you operate normally while trying to utilize any of the devices on display? just.. stop in the middle of the street, turn to your sleeve, and say, "check email"? kinda.. going to the it-may-be-nice-but-it's-not-practical side of things
    4. many people in this world who might, by some strange otherworldychance, use this junk, would very likely not look like the people who are so kindly displaying it for us
    5. the models did not appeal to me. I guess that's because I'm a female, and none of the male models (I only noted one, but I didn't finish the fashion show) appealed, so.. bah humbug on them

    I figure, though, that it's up to the inventors what they want to put their efforts into researching/designing/building, but if it were up to me, I'd work on something else.. anything but this wearable stuff. I mean, it's nice and all that it can be done, but I've yet to see a good, practical, "fashionable" wearable. Of course I haven't seen them all, that's just my $0.02 worth. Thanks
  • Well, I'm curious to know what is sticking out of this shiny happy person's bag []. Is that a Banana 2000 I see?

    {Insert banana joke of choice here...}


    {I didn't know that bananas are used to inspect poultry. Poor chickens...}
  • Oh, man...check the next page, shes got a banana hanging out of her pocket.*buh????*
    " Here, chicken, I got a nice juicy banana for you! "
    Or, yes..she *may* just be happy to see us (insert cymbol crash here)
  • 1. OS. I deny an OS as a necessity. I would rather have open source HW technical spec. On a system this small, most likely with both limited storage and processing power, it does not make sense for a "general purpose thick layer". An *thin* OS (as the Palm is experiencing) also ties the processor chip to backwards instruction compatibility that may not make sense.
    Nay to thin OS.
    Yeah to open HW technical spec. (a la 3dfx Glide 1.0)
    2. yeah on GNU keying
    3. "style" will come about through evolution and minification; looks not a big deal to me in terms of "requirements" ; light weight and small size greater necessity
    4. yeah for cesium-133 timepiece.
    5. yeah for gps.
    6. yeah for remote control.
    7. connectivity. inter- AND intra- devices. e-speak-like Open Source data exchange protocol of ALL wearables.
    8. data beaming between wearable and desktops.
    9. easily accesibly application software development kit.
    10. 3D spatial surround sound audio. Advanced audio tech is much more portable than visual tech and can be used as great 3D spatial cue for sofware applications interface. Great potential for software developer.

    Corrinne Yu
    3D Game Engine Programmer
    3D Realms/Apogee
    Corrinne Yu
    3D Game Engine Programmer
  • I dunno - whenever I read about "Retinal Painting Displays" I am reminded of the episode of

    Star Trek (tm) The Next Generation (tm) "The Game" []

    It's bad enough people drive now while gabbing on a cell phone...
  • I saw the show while at InternetWorld. It was quite bizarre- in the middle of the downstairs 2nd-class booth space, there was a giant open area with a runway. The "company" sponsoring the show (InfoCharms) is a startup straight out of MIT that obviously hasn't hired any marketing people yet: the "booth" was littered with product concepts presented low-budget academia style.

    Besides a lot of skin, what was shown was a combination of bizarre fashion-industry interpretation of "futuristic" clothing with a definite retro spin, costumes from "futuristic" movies and tv shows, concept device mockups, and real wearable computers. The latter were few and far between, and nothing that hasn't been discussed to death on /. already.

    The show was fun to watch, if only for seeing two amazingly different worlds colliding. The fashion people seemed to waver between excitement about being on the "leading edge" of something potentially huge and a patronizing smugness about bringing something hip to the poor, uncultured geek heathen. I think some of the attendees were genuinely interested in wearables, but the models definitely were a primary attraction. The pictures really don't do justice to the skimpiness of many of the women's outfits. :-)

  • I am a poultry inspector by trade, and I'd have to say that I am TRULY excited about the prospect of wearing a skin-tight vinal suit to work each day. Oh yeah....the computer is cool too.
  • These quotes are from the abstract:
    "The goal of this review is to provide biomedical
    researchers a brief overview of the existing
    RF radiation-cancer studies."
    "The epidemiological evidence for an association
    between RF radiation and cancer is found to be
    weak and inconsistent, the laboratory studies
    generally do not suggest that cell phone RF
    radiation has genotoxic or epigenetic activity,
    and a cell phone RF radiation-cancer connection
    is found to be physically implausible. Overall,
    the existing evidence for a causal relationship
    between RF radiation from cell phones and cancer
    is found to be weak to nonexistent."
  • At least 4 of the people that started Infocharms are my close friends, so they've been pretty good about sharing what's going on with the company.

    Obviously, the InternetWorld show was pure media exposure. I know it, you know it, and they know it. But the "normal" press and media don't. What they're trying to do is get Wearables to the point where cellphones, Walkmans, and police radios are: simply an inobtrusive part of your garb. Remember that Sony, Panasonic, et al. do this EXACT SAME THING every time they roll out some new gadget - it goes to some electronics show, worn by some under-nourished girl or an over-pumped dude wearing clothes you'll never see on the street. It's all about hype.

    Remember folks, these are supposed to be specialized devices. Just as you don't expect your Walkman to be a full-blown AV rig, your Wearable isn't going to be the place you do all your coding at. Instead, they're specific-purpose devices. Infocharms hopes to be like one of those mobile-accessory sites, where you shop at their site for any one of a bunch of specialized computers that are no bigger than a walkman. Good goal, the problem right now for them is execution and marketing (as someone pointed out). Yeah, they do need to work on that a bit...

    Also, I have had discussions about the possible eye-strain for the PrivateEye and other viewers. The general concensus is that you don't use them enough to cause problems (even Thad, who has worn that thing for almost 8 years straight, probably doesn't actually look at it for more than an agregate of 1 hour/day. And he's an extreme example.). The even better news is that the follow-on displays, which are generally embedded in your glasses like a HUD, or painted directly onto your retina with a laser, are no more of a problem than a CRT. Obviously, you shouldn't spend many long hours with your eyes at a single focal point. But with wearables, you'd be really hard-pressed to do this at all, whereas with CRTs....

    Oh, and in case anyone who knows is reading this, I still think the first picture looks like Dana, don't you? Hi Dana! :-)


  • From the text on the site:

    "With this device, under development at Georgia Tech, a cancer specialist can gather data using a sensor glove."

    And then this image []. Notice if you will, the part of the "doctor's" hand covered by the glove.

    Think about it...


  • Check out the audience [].
  • by Master of Kode Fu ( 63421 ) on Tuesday December 28, 1999 @07:45AM (#1439532) Homepage
    In order of increasing ridiculousness:

    I don't think we're too far off from that. AT Burning Man '99, a lot of people were wearing costumes or clothes that had electroluminescent wire sewn into them. EL wire comes in about a half-dozen colours and glows like neon when a current is run through it. Some people simply had it connected to a small battery/transformer assembly on their belts, while others had some small pocket sequencers that allowed them to create "chaser" effects. It works well in a rave/club context, and also a safety context -- you were less likely to drive your bike into EL-adorned people (certain parts of Burning Man are pitch black at night).

    I'd like to see a communications protocol used by DJs that would broadcast information such as the name and artist of the song currently being played. In a large club setting, it's not always possible to press your way to the DJ booth and ask -- and if you've ever read the "Moody DJ" comic strip series, you know why it's not always a good idea to ask.

    There's a large contingent of rave kids who now bring their own African drums to raves to play along. Those things are large enough to embed a ruggedized computer. With Bluetooth wireless technologies, you could surreptitiously order ecstacy from a similarly equipped dealer. Imagine, a new double entendre: e-commerce!

    I was surprised that none of the models had a computer stuffed into those tiny knapsacks that women at clubs seem to favour. That seems like a pretty good place to mount a computer without looking ridiculous (depending on your fashion tastes) or at least overly techo-fetishistic. I'm sure a teeny knapsack could hold a computer to interface with the top-secret networks that connects women from across the globe together. You know -- the information network with access terminals in women's washrooms. That's why women go to the washroom in twos -- two people have to enter a part of the decryption key simultaneously. Really, guys, I swear this is true.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    That's not a banana, it's a state-of-the-art hand phaser, to blast those vicious chickens directly into buffalo wings .... What *I* want to know is who the guy at the bottom is. Looks like a spy to me. Very suspicious.
  • None of these really show that much in terms of wearable computers, mostly just dumb looking shiny costumes

    I have to agree with that. With some exceptions, these wearables are disappointingly bulky. More specifically, they look very much like the first-wave manifestation of this technology, in which it's more important to point out its toy value than its actual usefulness. I mean, fabric keyboards are cool, but it looks like this guy's [] carrying conventional keyboards in his pockets! Once wearable technology spreads beyond geeks and executives, or once time and habituation force us all to calm down, perhaps it will leave the conspicuous consumption phase and start to become ergonomic and natural-looking.

    I guess looking like a Jetson is a step up from looking like a Borg, but I want my wearable devices to fit into my wardrobe, not become it.
  • This opens up a pandora's box of cheesy pick up lines.
    "Nice USB port, wanna fsck?"
    "You're so hot I need another heat sink on my celeron."
    "You're so hot, are you overclocked?"
    "That's a nice system, but I think I could penetrate it." (at a hacker con)
    "I noticed you're wearing IEEE pants, which is good, because that's what you're going to be shouting later."
    "That LCD looks great on a matter of fact, so would I."

    Make your own Hard Drive jokes.

  • One of the funniest things I have seen in a while. (I laughed hard enough to disturb my co-workers. (As if I do not disturb them as it is...)) I especially liked the model in black latex with the banana holder. [] Is that a banana or are you just happy to view our web site?

    Little to nothing about the technology and everything to do with the clothing. ("Mmmmm! Shiny!" - Homer Simpson)

    Someone using the current technology hype to show off bad future fashions of the '70s.

    "And remember my friends: Future events, such as these, will happen to YOU in the future!" - Criswell

  • A couple of the devices are actually good ideas (most aren't). But if there was ever a good way to make sure a product will never have a prayer of hitting the market, it's to put it on a model. Nothing ever modelled (sp?) in those freak shows would ever be bought by any decent human being. The most extreme case: if you ever wanted to make sure nobody ever imitated a piece of clothing you design, have Cher wear it to the Oscars. Guaranteed. (you may now moderate this to -100)
  • My top ten responses to that photo

    10. Now that's a point-and-click interface.
    9. Is the newest of Jennicam's remotes?
    8. Ahh, this is what they mean by back-end processing.
    7. Cold finger, warm heart!
    6. I guess "BSOD" now means "Brown Screen of Death.
    5. I can already see the Gap slogan: everybody in...everybody else!
    4. Ooh! finger server! Aren't those things notorious for their security holes?
    3. How does this fit with your principles, Mr. Stallman? (insert soft, wet jabbing sound followed by the sound of moans muffled by a rubber ball here)
    2. If it interfaces with the Sony Aibo gerbil, we'll have Richard Gere as a customer...

    ...and number one...

    1. Damn! That's what I call open source computing!

  • How about some actual information. The first outfit [], the one that looks like a fat palmtop, was created by Thad Starner [] who started the Wearables [] group at M.I.T. (unfortunately the really good wearables links at M.I.T. appear to be gone.)

    Once you fight your way past the bimbos and the crowd shot (is that Bill Gates?), some of the technical wear looks very functional. Check out the funding: "Carnegie Mellon devices funded and supported by: The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance, Sandbox Advanced Development, DARPA, and The Telxon Corporation." Nice cash flow there.

    Ok. Granted the Hands Free Poultry Inspection System should be in a copy of Skin Two [] but take a look at that audience. These people do not get laid often enough

    What depressed me the most was the complete lack of any links to the hardware in question (even most of my searches came up empty.)

    I guess the term "Vaporware for the Vapid to Wear" finally applies.

  • for me, this is only and truly wearable PC: []

    jaime g. wong
    webmaster of the guidelight project

  • Specs?

    Puh-leaze. This is MIT culture. This is the Media Lab culture. It doesn't have to be remotely useful, or even work. Just model it with the 3d printer, call it "prototype", "future vision", "alpha model", strap it on Vendela, and watch the press-releases go out and invenstors roll in. Slashdot is right now just another avenue for a cynical commercial.
  • Them's gotta be some of the butt-ugliest models I think I've ever seen in my life. You are dead wrong-- this event fulfilled many dreams that day...
  • you should have read about the uses that these devices are planned for. One is for hands-free aircraft inspection, the other for hands-free poultry inspection. They project that these devices will reduce inspection times.

    I counted at least three male models. Sorry to respond so negatively to your post but you said yourself you did not look through the whole thing, and I think you missed the point. wearables will augment you, they are not like any garments before them, they don't necessarily have to look like previous clothing, and thirdly most of the wearables were actually seperate from the clothing so you can wear your favorite clothing and wear the computer on top of it!

  • It can be proven that in many cases nothing is better than "Moore's Thong"
  • Whenever I see tech like this, I try to picture it at the ubiquitous level - the point at which it becomes real - and therefore the real societal consequences. The glamour is diversionary, and obscures the truth. Like what kinda wearable computer will your average, mulletted, acne ridden guy who drives a '70 Malibu in Nebraska have - will he able to access Megadeth MP3s to blare out of speakers hidden in his shoes? Anyone with answers, please share. All this stuff is too Sony R&D. I want to see the Bruce Springsteen equivalent.
  • Regarding wearable devices for the computer display, a few questions:
    1) Is it possible to make a display that is see-through (though perhaps darkened)? This way, you could see the information but also adjust your focus to see in front of you. It looked like one of the models might have something like this [] on.
    2) Instead of a large headset or a targeting-device looking visor, could a display be packed into a simple monacle (ie. one of those round thingys you hold in place with your eye). The "chain" could carry the necessary information to the display. Such a thing might actually be subtle enough to be practical. Yeah, right.
    3) Obviously, wearable displays bring up a number of UI issues. A lot of people seem to be focussing on voice interface, but that only seems right for text entry (if you've tried some of the original voice interfaces for Windows from 5 years ago, you'll know what I mean: "Open File", "Next Window"...) -- some sort of handheld pointer device seems necessary too. Either that, or something that responds to hand movement (or possibly eye movement, etc). What would work?
    4) Finally, it seems that people might need to rething the GUI in general for wearable displays. Simply tossing up the standard windowed layout may not be best for mobile computing. And screen real-estate is also at a premium. What might be a better design.

    Even given all this, I'm still concerned about trying to focus on something that's less than 2 inches from my eye...
  • Because we're cyborgs. We wear silicone in our eyes to enhance our vision. We determine the pace of our day by worn microprocessors. We take drugs to fight off the body's natural compliance to entropy. Clothing offers a large surface - albeit flat - in which to thread a microprocessor system, and thereby allow true portability of the extensions of certain criteria intelligence computers afford. Just as watches or glasses improve our vision, computers hidden in clothing will enhance our memory, our ability to deal with foreign languages, spatial sense, etc. I for one, would much rather prefer not having to lug around a heavy laptop everywhere I go. I want to show a new video I've shot to someone - I download it into my shirt, show up at the conference relaxed and hands free, and plug it into their system for viewing on a monitor of some sort. Fine. These things will become ubiquitous - just you wait and see. The funny thing is - how is someone who needs a wearable computer going to get around the need to wear a 2 ghz processor woven into a single shirt every day. They'll get pretty stinky soon, don't you think? The fashion implications have been avoided, really.
  • One way to get around it is to make sure you come up with systems that don't work on one eye only, or use some form of virtual light (i.e. instead of monitor - surface which reflects light into the eye - photons directly fired into the retina). As someone who has done a fair share of camera operating, and wears contacts due to horrible eyesight, one of the real strains is a situation where you need both eyes open and one is stuck in the viewfinder - like shooting a rock concert on stage. You're looking out for cables, you're in the dark, you don't want to bump into the band members - but you've also got to have one eye stuck on a short focal length in the viewfinder to compose the image. That strain is pretty horrible - and some of the models shown are single eye devices. Trust me, bad idea.
  • You forget god didn't make those breasts. We did. ;-)
  • Wow, a nerds paridise. Beautiful woman wearing exspensive technology.
  • While you're at it...

    a) Image and audio capture capabilities - this is pretty much a given. Pinhole type single CCD camera and microphone embedded into cloth. I'm sure some people will have misgivings with this idea, but I can think of plenty serious applications. Also, low level light amplification. Access to other spectrums.

    b) LARGE memory capacity - I don't think this is a problem - with no moving parts. R&D flash ROM cards can hold, what is it, nearly a gig? Think about parts of clothing that take up space - the soles of shoes. Have them contain the memory units.

    c) Solar power source - so we don't have to wear goddamned batteries - stored charge can also be diverted into heat.

    d) Either stereo eye display or virtual light - some sort of HUD overlaid normal vision. Single monitor entirely covering one eye = eye strain, poor focus, too much weight.

    e) Vitals monitoring linked to Emergency services. Health information - steps and mileage recorded.

    You know, thinking of the wishlist here, introducing fashion to it is pretty silly. Function is going to have be dictated before form, and my solar power source means black or green cloth that will have a pretty rigid texture in order to hold silicates. The first people to adopt these in a functional sense will probably look like gargoyles out of Snow Crash, but this is the replacement of the wallet as far as I'm concerned.

  • "She wore an itsy-bitsy teenie-weenie internet-dot-com bikini."
  • In what way? The only things I was disturbed by was that the technology shown wasn't anywhere near state-of-the-art and that I can't go and buy such a device for myself right now at a reasonable price. Clearly to truly be extensions of human capacity the machines have to become more portable and/or ubiquitous. Ultimately we will have chips wired into ourselves. It is only a matter of time. Personally I need a device yesterday that is always present and can access the WEB, take notes, offer reminders, bring up stuff to read and/or work on and so on. Something that doesn't require lugging around a backpack full of stuff. Or tying up the hands. Sign me up for the beta models!

    I am also quite excited that some of the notion of wearable computers and it being chic to have such is going more mainstream. In 5 years I doubt you will find many professional people who don't own a wearable.
  • Bah, humbug! Ligthweight OS? I want a full Linux machine in a small tight little light package that fits snugly on a hip or in the small of my back. I want to run anything on the wearable I can run on my desktop including having high-speed internet access. I might not have traditional hard disk but there are ways around that problem. Actually the way disk technology is going the unit might well include real spinning platters without too much overhead.

    The ideal unit would offer full visual sharpness by means such as direct stimulation of the retina with tuned lasers (already exists in military applications). Good voice recognition is required of course. The virtual mouse/virtual keyboard through handwaving would be a nice plus (such a virtual keyboard exists today). I would like to program my own gestures to mean things to the computer. A good pair of lightweight nearly invisible earphones would complete the picture. The headsup display would be a simple flip down on a pair of glasses. The mike could be very small or even a subvocalization patch. The entire unit except the cpu box would be nearly invisible.

    The applications are separate matters. First give us the machines with good general ability at a decent price. The applications will come quite quickly.

  • Why would you like to carry a presentation in your shirt? We have networks to store and transfer data. What if someone bumped your shirt and it "crashed"? In this future world you will probobaly be using some kind of memory card the size of a PCMCIA card or one of those Sony memory sticks. They are tiny, and you don't have to dry clean them like the hard drive shirt, or whatever you want to wear. I do think that in a couple of years people will not even think about technology as they do today, but not because they are wearing it. It will be because things have become intergrated into bigger networks that go from your house to your desk to the board room to the kitchen so that you don't have to worry about where a file is stored or where you can get online. Things will be accessable everywhere. With the development of satelite and wireless networks you will be able to access all of this from the car or the cabin in the mountains. I really doubt that people will want to wear their computer because that keeps it in their mind all the time. Wouldn't want to bend the processor or crack the fiber uplink, would we? Nah, they won't be thinking about it becuase they won't have to. It's there at the click of a button on their phone or pc.
  • I'm certain these specific wearable PCs will catch on with the public as much as the quasi-futuristic fashions do.

    What a beatiful parallel! A handful of pictures shows you how impractical and almost insane today's futurist mania has gotten in both fashion and tech.

    What could be farther from the everyman or everywoman than high-tech and high-fashion?

  • ... and not just for those models in the pictures :)

    "They say it can be proven that in many cases nothing is better than 'Moore's Thong'," I winced to myself as the founder of Intel twirled before me wearing naught but a cheesecutter. And knowing, yea, loathing what lay ahead, still I found myself screaming, "TAKE IT OFF, PLEASE, nothing would be better than that thong!"

    He smiled at me and said, "you want that I 86 it?"

    ...when suddenly I awoke. Luckily, it had all been a dream.

  • by adamsc ( 985 )
    What does it say that even people on find those outfits ludicrous? I mean, how does a designer spin the fact that even a bunch of geeks think the outfit counteracts the model's looks? Only the ones which showed enough skin seemed to get positive comments...

    Personally, the whole show looks like the sort of thing Wired gets parodied for ("We're hip. We're with it. We get it! Really! Stop Laughing!"). Very few of those looked like anyone had done even basic UI thought - the very first picture has a wearable that is less convenient than a desktop PC! I was also disappointed to see that the designers still think people find the heavily drugged look [] appealing, too.

  • If you are interested reading about a company that in the business of creating *real* wearable computers, check out xybernaut []. They are even marketing Linux [] capable versions.


    {Xybernaut + Linux + Bluetooth + Beowulf...hmmmm...}
  • Yeah, but we just did it with prior art. :-)
  • Don't know if it comes with matching trunks
    or not, but you can always check out the WetPC []
    from AIMS, the Australian Institute of Marine Science. []

  • Clothiers generally haven't had a great performance history in the stock market -- look at Ralph Lauren [], Donna Karan [], for example. However, with the current linux craze, perhaps they just need to slap on an embedded device and watch the greenbacks roll in.... ;-)
  • Regarding PayPal: I encourage everyone to open an account
    Everyone in the US that is :( They get a poke in the eye from me until they let Australians join. (I don't mind working in US currency, I just want to be able to recieve small payments without massive overheads. I promise I won't ask them to post me a cheque. ;)
  • introducing fashion to it is pretty silly
    Not at all. Fashion, or at least a decent sense of design, should be present in wearables from word go. There will be times were the bulk or lack of flexibility makes it difficult, but I really don't want to wander around looking like an ugly freak - a stylish freak is better ;)

    (actually, with wireless Personal Area Networking like Bluetooth, much of the device can be invisible, so it's just things like microphones and "keyboards" that need work. That keyboard without a keyboard that was on /. a little while ago might solve such things...)

  • I did a survey recently at my work. I'm the IT guy at a real estate place (not totally accurate, but close enough). Everyone has a mobile phone. Most believe that instant response is required if you want to make decent money (and keep the fish on the hook). I asked; "Of the calls you receive outside the office, what percentage require information that is only at the office?" The sales reps quoted on average 50%. Another department that manages properties for people quoted 80%. That means that only about 35% of calls to mobile phones outside the office can actually be dealt with at that time. The rest have "I'll call when I get back to the office" somewhere in them. They might as well just have voicemail.

    If the staff had portable computers, if those portable computers had wireless data access and if we had a paperless office (too many ifs, but you get the idea) then staff could again actually achieve something for most of their calls outside the office. This is why we need wearables. Once Bluetooth hits, I'm there - mobile, Palm, headset, all wireless connected. Will call you from the future to tell you how it goes ;)

  • Why would you like to carry a presentation in your shirt?
    I've run a presentation from the world's smallest 2.3 megapixel camera, the Fuji MX-2700. I prepared the slides in Powerpoint, then I exported them to JPEGs (through a couple of apps for maximum quality) then I loaded the images on the SmartMedia card using a PCMCIA adapter (all of 15 seconds load time) and finally I presented them through the company's Panasonic LCD projector using the camera's video out. I got a few "Ooo"s from people that noticed. The only "drawback" was that I couldn't use any fancy effects, but anyone that's sat through "Baby's first Powerpoint presentation" will know how annoying all of the effects are. FYI: With my 16MB card I could have held about 135 slides.
  • Am I the only one who thought of a "exotic dancers" with computer chips covering the important parts of their breasts (instead of stars or whatever)?
  • I would imagine that it traveled where it goes, in your pocket
    My camera spends a lot of travel time on my belt in a snug fitting pouch. It looks like a black blob. If I could wear it a different way, I would. I have even worked out a way to attach a shoulder strap to my monopod, and I wear that across my back with the scrap across my front. In summer I don't have that many pockets.

    I'd rather not have to carry a bag with the stuff tossed in it, because then I'd have to keep finding a place for the bag. I'd much rather that I was just wearing my technology...

  • After writing what I did, I thought about it for a while, and then read this reply.

    Real estate is more of a cut-throat, live-on-commission, always-having-to-work job. But it is almost instantly gratifying and correlated to the pay you receive and the time you put in -- Lawyers, doctors, etc, (read: professions that consumers want instant-access to).

    I see that happening, but I also see my worst fear happening: sitting on the beach on a Sunday morning on Oahu, then getting paged in my eyeball by my job telling me that I have to work on my vacation.

    The flip side is, however, more attractive...

    I'm sitting on the beach on a Sunday morning on Oahu, I get paged in my eye telling me to fix something at my job on the mainland and I never once ever see the office. The beach is my office, and I'm never cooped up in a cube ever again.

    Talk about a paradox.


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