“Dueling philosophies” for Wearable Tech

May 31st, 2013

While comparing Google Glass to a (theoretical) Apple-made watch, Ken Segall makes this observation:

Second, there’s the company’s love of humanity. That is, Apple has never created technology for technology’s sake. It creates technology that strikes a chord with human beings.

I’d restate that in a different way: Apple seeks to make technology that makes us better as humans, rather than try to change what we are. The Mac, iLife, the iPod, iPhone and iPad all fit this very well. None of them try to redefine what it means to be human.

Google Glass, as a technology, begins to do exactly that. It’s a first stab at providing an immediate connection between the web and our brains, and it does so by overlaying an interface on our most important sensory input. There’s no meaning in “it gets technology out of the way,” as Google is wont to say, because Glass is intended to always be in the way, to become a part of us in a much more literal way than smartphones have.

That’s not only unappealing to me, but I think the idea—that we will be better off if we literally integrate the web into ourselves and therefore very fundamentally change the human experience—disturbing.