Geek chic

Many people are accessorizing with technology

I don’t spend money on clothing. I only fork out money on clothes that advertise my love for Dr. Who, but the rest I usually grab from a bin at Costco. 

I’m not cheap; I just don’t see the benefit of spending more than $20 on jeans. My monthly cheques go towards rent, food and electronic toys. I don’t see the point of expensive underwear, but can validate spending money on an expensive phone (then hacking it to play Super Mario Bros.), a tablet (which can also play Super Mario Bros.) or an e-reader (books are no longer boring, what with Super Mario). 

However, I may have to start caring about what I’m wearing, as “smart accessories” may be the next trend.

Today, most smart accessories are just extensions of your smartphone. Using Bluetooth technology, they can act as another input method or provide feedback from the phone, acting as an additional screen, sounds or vibration. 

Phones have become the watch’s biggest competitor in the time-telling business. Everybody ditched their timepieces in favor of checking their phones, leaving room on our wrists for tattoos and slap bracelets. But watches are coming back with a vengeance. It’s about time.

Devices such as the Pebble Watch or the Sony SmartWatch 2 are available for purchase right now. They can provide notifications of texts and control your music player, but as apps become more compatible with smartwatches, their functions will increase. For example, the Pebble Watch is compatible with the popular fitness app Runkeeper, which provides the wearer with information such as their current pace.

Apple is rumored to be releasing a watch of its own, surprising no one it is called iWatch. When it’s released, you can assume that wrist-mounted smart devices will begin ruining dates more efficiently than iPhones already do.

A more eye-catching tech accessory will be the new Google Glass, which will be released to the public in early 2014.

The device doesn’t look like a regular pair of glasses, instead it’s more like a futuristic monocle with a tiny screen attached to a frame above the right eye. 

Google Glass will be able to sync up with your smartphone and computer via Bluetooth and WiFi, but can still function independently having its own set of apps. The device will sport most of the functions smartphones have but will use voice control as the primary input method. If Instagram supports the Google Glass, it may learn to recognize food and automatically upload a photo of every meal so you don’t have to manually.

Other devices track your daily activity, from jogging to sleeping. Bracelets like the Jawbone UP or the Fitbit Force have been popping up on people’s wrists. The Nike+ sensor turns your shoes into a fitness tracker that works with your iPod. 

Tech is so small and portable, everything can be made into a smart device, shifting the bell curve for inanimate objects higher. With technology becoming more integrated with fashion, it will only be a matter of time before I’m wearing a pair of smart pyjamas, which I can later hack to play Super Mario Bros.

Published in Volume 68, Number 8 of The Uniter (October 23, 2013)

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