“Come with me if you want to live…” – the line made famous by a cyborg sent from the future in James (Courtne… sorry) Cameron’s Terminator movies may feel rather dated, albeit iconic, to some of us. However, in a world that celebrates the rise of wearable technology, I ask – are we being terminated by machines, or is this the beginning of our salvation?
Some 20 years ago, the notion of a bionic eye capable of analysing the host’s environment seemed like a thing dreamed up by a dystopian science-fiction author. Although, in present-day, wearable technology, such as Google Glass are quite literally changing the way we see things…
Visual enhancements that allow users to ‘never miss a moment’ are set to alter the way individuals interact with their surroundings, real-time and each other. Providing its wearer with a metaphorical hotline directly into search engines, people can ask the affectionately named, Glass, “How much is a beer in Croatia?”, “Which SATC girl am I?”, “what was the question to 42”, or, well… pretty much anything, actually.
Of course, the uses of these pieces of hardware, eclipse Buzzfeed quizzes and viral videos, the visual gadgets have the potential to streamline overseas business exchanges, providing users with a tool to break through difficult language barriers. The hardware also encourages its users to ‘live lighter’, by eliminating the requirement of a smart phone, and therefore erasing the presence of MP3 players, cameras and web browsers upon our person.
Sounds great? Yeah, well, OK. Mostly…
Surely, the influence of wearable tech in our lives perhaps turns the user into more of a passive ‘host’, if you will, powerless to the overbearing influence of technology. Choice, freedom and decision are characteristics of being human, will technology not replace these values with suggestion, ‘things you might like’ and ‘did you mean’ activity?
Sometimes, we take for granted the beauty of simply turning our phones off, logging out or shutting down. Do we require a platonic relationship with our gadgets, or should we be really meeting our partners or friends and getting ‘to the bones’ of what makes us human?
Maybe the future of wearable technology will provide a ‘wake-up call’ for humanity with the rise of the machines, or perhaps it will provide a clearer perspective on the world.
Either way, the developments being made today are certainly paving the way for a more integrated, better connected and more intelligent way of performing everyday tasks – to what extent the way in which we perform these tasks is based on choice, rather than influence is something no one can yet answer (not even Google).