So if you don’t follow tech news Google just revealed Android Wear, an Android powered smartwatch OS. Here are some news stories. Wearable devices are becoming a bigger thing now. They are mostly smartwatches right now besides the Google Glass. Smartwatches like the Pebble (which I own due to #hackbeanpot), Galaxy Gear, and a lot of smartwatches popping up on Kickstarter. After looking at the smartwatches on Kickstarter I really prefer watches that are an extension of a device you already have (tablet or smartphone) rather than being their own standalone device. Most people already have smartphones so it seems cost efficient to let the phone handle most of the work and have the smartwatch just be an extension of the phone. Also support for multiple smartphone OS’s is a must. The only reason Pebble cannot support Windows Phone is that Microsoft doesn’t allow devs as much access into the phone OS so they cannot get call and text information. Hopefully this will change with Windows Phone 8.1.
Even though I don’t live in the Google ecosystem the Android Wear reveal made me excited about the future of tech. I am always excited about the future of technology but this just brought it back. I’m going to point to a couple Microsoft examples because I stay somewhat up to date on what Microsoft does but it should apply to tech as a whole as well. In 2007 Microsoft announced the Surface (now called PixelSense). It was basically a really large interactive table device. It could respond to touch and supposedly could detect and interact with other devices placed onto the screen. It was never meant as a consumer device but it was a cool thing Microsoft made to show off the future. In 2008 Microsoft Courier videos were leaked. People actually got really excited about this concept but Microsoft never actually released a Courier. A lot of the ideas though probably went into OneNote however. The new Surface also feels vaguely similar to what Microsoft probably wanted with the Courier.
As tech progresses we come up with new ways to interact with our devices. User interface and user experience are becoming way more important. UI design has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. The Zune was the first major Metro UI device Microsoft released. Metro UI is typography based and tries to put the “content before the chrome”. Metro UI is a flat design compared to other designs that use skeuomorphism. iOS was a heavy user of skeuomorphism before iOS 7. Design has now definitely moved towards flat design. Microsoft certainly didn’t start the flat design movement but they were one of the first to move towards that design.
Anyway where was I going with this…the future of tech…right. We are kind of already living in the future. The Kinect and Leap Motion are examples of devices that break the normal user interaction rules. I think there is still a ton of research that can be done into ways humans can interact with technology. Microsoft released this video 3 years ago about the future of…something. It is a cool look at what the future might look like though. Microsoft Research does a ton of cool stuff that doesn’t actually see the light of day but some of the ideas make their way into the products Microsoft releases. But actually Microsoft please be working on wearable tech. I for one am excited for the future of tech and hopefully I can be a part of it.
I put a lot of links into this post because links are fun. I usually have 20 links to a whole multitude of things open at the same time all the time. 2048 is an evil game and will eat up all your time. The dude who made is is my age so I feel very inadequate in my coding abilities. To make up for that here is a picture of the Esplanade.