Wearable Technology, the down side?

Just over a year ago Steve Mann  one of the pioneers of wearable tech was attacked in a McDonalds  by the staff apparently for wearing his Google Glass like augmented reality glasses .  While I waited for my  AdaFruit Flora kit to arrive I remembered that headline.

I’ve been thinking a lot about wearable technology a lot recently(You’ve probably  noticed if you regularly read this blog or follow me on twitter i’ve not shut up about it) My project for the element14 AdaFruit  Flora challenge is designed to provoke an emotional response, I want people to see the patterns of LEDs on a persons arm light up and be influenced by it.  Hopefully people will be influenced in a good way. I want people to be thinking “That person liked the ‘Red’ gallery” (What ever the Red gallery actually is)  If the red LEDs are lit up for example. But what happens if a person sees the red LEDs light up and disagrees with the opinion to the point of becoming angry or even worse violent.

People don’t tend to become angry at Really cool Science Exhibits  ,Dinosaurs or good design but a lot of art galleries and museums do have exhibits that are intended to shock and provoke their visitors so it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that somebody could be upset if another visitor was showing open admiration for a controversial piece.

Situations like that as well as the well founded privacy concerns are something that we will have to deal with if wearable computing does grow as predicted.

Since I started working on my wearable technology project I’ve started to get interested in some of the issues such as these.  It will be interesting to see how the wearable technology develops,what peoples attitudes are to it and  how they change over time.

Speaking of which I have created a short survey which if you could spare a couple of minutes I would appreciate you filling in.

The survey is here 

or if that doesn’t work alternative version here

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