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Closer tech, closer world: Thad Starner and the advantages of wearables


Wearable technology is getting more popular. It's not uncommon today to see your friends and colleagues wearing some form of self-tracking device. As we get more comfortable with technology on (or even inside!) our bodies, the number of devices we wear is likely to keep increasing. But how will this collection of gadgets influence our interaction with the world? Do the devices themselves create a barrier to real-world interactions?

Thad Starner, one of the foremost pioneers of wearable technology, believes that the greatest advantage of wearable tech is that it gets the technology out of the way of living. And we agree! We summarized some of Starner's key points as told to Wired Magazine.

According to Starner, one of the best assets of wearable tech is data on demand. We live in a world of screens, displays, and other distractions that take our concentration away from the people around us and the tasks we're performing. Wearable tech allows us to access the data we need, only when we need it. For example, using a smart phone and mobile health tracker to record your vital stats is much less intrusive than having a heart rate monitor following you around. Not having constant push-based messages means that you can control how you interact with your data.

Getting technology closer to the body can also improve communication and our presence in life. If the user can focus on the task at hand or the interaction without having to switch focus to a screen or another device at arm's length, it allows them to be more fully present with the people they're communicating with. Wearable technology that is seamlessly integrated into the user's life will therefore give the most advantages.

You can read all of Starner's comments about wearable design and breaking down barriers here.  

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