Wearing Yesterday

There has been much talk about the Law of Accelerating Returns recently in the context of artificial intelligence especially since the likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking are calling for restraint in the industry.

The LoAR presents an interesting problem to product designers thinking about the long-term visions of their digital and physical products.

In a recent conversation with another designer about wearables, I wondered how long it would take until the industry would eventually fulfill their fantasies of everyone walking around with their specific wearable. It has seemed like it has taken some companies forever to understand that the idea of a tech-laden wearable isn’t a good enough sell to the masses and they must crack or eliminate the fashionable part.

The eventual goal of wearables; provide a future of usable metrics which self-collect and/or serve as your digital identity for either authentication or other personalized services. With an already existing industry like biometrics though, it’s hard for me to not believe that the idea of wearables is actually quite old, despite not having yet reached mass market adoption. Here we are, though, designing armbands.

I’m not one for future projections (I wouldn’t hesitate to say I don’t know much about these realms), but if the LoAR is a good rule of thumb, our imaginations aren’t thinking big enough.

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