Today’s wearable technology pretty much takes existing gadgets and slaps them onto the human body. We need to rethink this concept.
Wearable technology has failed to deliver on its great promise. From Jawbone Up to Google Glass, usage tends to decline rapidly after initial uptake. We spoke to the technical programme lead of Google Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) about how to design wearable technology with staying power.
1. Start with ‘wearable’ rather than ‘technology’. Too often, clever technology falls short when it comes to ease of use and style.
2. Redesign for the format. The fact that a certain technology worked in an existing gadget does not mean that it will work on the human body.
3. Work with existing behaviour. Don’t re-invent the wheel, but harness existing styles or social conventions.
4. Go beyond the screen. Apps can only take you so far. Find ways to use movement and gesture in your design.
5. Empower other brands. Create a platform to enable existing brands to use your technology.