The Future of Wearable Tech: Smart Colostomy Bags and Orthopaedic Shoes

I’m about to do something I never thought I would on this blog, I’m about to write… about fashion.

In the last few months the tech community has jumped on its latest bullshit powered bandwagon: wearable tech. Ever since Apple registered a patent resembling a wrist-based thingamajic, everybody’s gone and lost their minds. Google are sticking cameras to people’s faces, Sony are building watches with Walkmans, and I’m pretty sure AOL are about to launch the first Smart colostomy bag.

Speaking of things which are full of excrement, the mainstream technology media have been quick to squeeze every last drop of speculation-sodden bullcrap out of the wearable tech trend. This is the problem with the way we report technology news. Rather than waiting for things to actually happen, it’s much easier to just speculate and make stuff up. – “Here’s an artist’s rendition of how the new iWatch could look”. “Here’s a sneak preview of the features Google Glass probably won’t have”. …And here’s a picture of a unicorn for you to add to your collection of non-existent puffery.

People would buy a sodden motel mattress if the seminal stains roughly looked like the Apple logo

Anyway, back to wearable tech. The biggest problem I have with the idea (other than being forced to talk into a watch like Captain Scarlet) is that fashion and technology simply don’t mix. Both industries simply move on too quickly. Combine them together and everything you own will be out of date before it’s even out of the box.

Take QR codes. Last year I received a pair of QR code cufflinks as a present (one linking to this blog and one to my twitter). These have made for a great bit of fun and have even provided a half-decent talking point (As I clearly don’t have much to say). That said, with the rate of technological change and the shift towards AR technology, in about 6 months’ time I may as well be walking around with a fax machine on my wrist.

So is wearable tech really the way forward? Yes. But is it really? Yes. Really? Yes. Well I’m glad that’s settled. Of course people will buy wearable tech, people would buy a sodden motel mattress if the seminal stains roughly looked like the Apple logo. I’ve seen people with perfectly good iPhones throw them out just because the iPhone5 looks ‘sexier’ (taller). Just because people will buy into something, doesn’t make it revolutionary.

I think my biggest problem is the type of clothing that these companies seem to insist on building their technology into. Why glasses? I don’t need glasses, I have 20/20 vision! Glasses are literally an ailment-based accessory; you may as well build my smart phone into an orthopaedic shoe. And as for watches, I like analogue watches. Are you honestly telling me that an iPod on a strap will completely undermine a hundred years of aspirational marketing from a company like Rolex? …Yes, I suppose it probably will.

Still, screw you, I’m staying old school, and what’s more old school than an analogue watch and a pair of QR code cufflinks?

Alex Warren
Alex Warren
Miserablist, whiskey-drinker, and general tinpot shambles. Alex Warren has a weary pessimism for all things media, politics and tech.