Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Smart Watches and Computers on Your Face

Wired’s Mat Honan spent a year with Google Glass on his face and didn’t feel the need to take a picture of himself in the shower. He found it a mixed experience:

People get angry at Glass. They get angry at you for wearing Glass. They talk about you openly. It inspires the most aggressive of passive aggression. Bill Wasik refers apologetically to the Bluedouche principle. But nobody apologizes in real life. They just call you an asshole.

But…

Glass sold me on the concept of getting in and getting out. Glass helped me appreciate what a monster I have become, tethered to the thing in my pocket. I’m too absent. Can yet another device make me more present? Or is it just going to be another distraction? Another way to stare off and away from the things actually in front of us, out into the electronic ether? I honestly have no idea.

On the other hand, Marco Arment thinks that the major gadget holes have all been filled:

The combination of a computer, internet connectivity, and a smartphone (and maybe a tablet) is awesome. It satisfies nearly every modern demand for personal computing hardware and still has massive untapped potential for software and services.

Maybe that’s all we really need for a while.

A couple of contrasting perspectives here. On the one hand, I tend to side with Arment — all my needs have been met, and I’m not looking to buy anything additional.

But, on the other hand, Honan’s experience suggests that maybe there is a market for these things. I kind of feel like Arment is judging the possibility of wearable things based on the weak-sauce attempts so far which, admittedly, is all that he can use to judge the category. But that’s a bit like looking at a BlackBerry in 2006 and asking why anyone would want to use one of “these newfangled smartphones,” or something to that effect.

Furthermore, smartphones and computers are general-purpose devices, but this wearable category could be much more tailored to a specific subset of users. That’s my guess, at any rate. And, like anything else, if we — as a broader market — don’t find the devices that appealing, we’ll vote with our wallets. However, if I were a betting man, I’d wager that any new product category likely won’t be the next iPhone or iPad in terms of sales. True to Arment’s sentiments, I think many of us are content with the device landscape that we already have.