Wearables Won't Make It

Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/wearables-wont-make-it/

In recent years, wearable technology has grown more popular. In addition to a wide array of scientific, healthcare, and law enforcement fields, wearables are also starting to appear in consumer markets. Google, Apple, Samsung, and a host of other large technology companies have begun to develop their own consumer targeted wearables, many of which have access to web technology. As web developers, it’s important that we take a deeper look into this emerging trend, considering if whether or not we should invest in learning the skills needed to build for these new devices.

Defining the types of devices

Now before we go any further, I think it’s important to determine what defines a wearable. For the purpose of this article, a wearable is a piece of technology designed to be worn and for multipurpose everyday use by a consumer. Examples of these would be Google Glass, Smart Watches, and all day fitness trackers like Fitbit. Many of these devices run an OS, have marketplaces for users to download apps, and are designed to simplify daily life. There are several other electronic devices that can be classified as wearables, but are designed to solve real problems for specific use cases. In this article, we are not referring to these types of devices. Examples of these would be items such as body cameras worn by police officers, medical devices, and Polar heart rate monitors (I wear one of these when I go to the gym, and it is exceptionally accurate and useful). I’ve done a lot of thinking on this subject, and as far as I can tell, 2015 is going to be the year that the wearables market falls flat on its face. Lets take a look at a few reasons why.

Problem 1 – Web Browsing

Yes, your wearable device can browse the web. The problem is the that your browsing experience may be severely limited. If you’re using some form of smart eyewear like Google Glass, interactive components like hover states and keyboard events can be problematic. It is because of these types of limitations that Google Glass has implemented a “view only” model of web browsing, where users can zoom and scroll through a website, but they cannot interact with it.

The problem of web browsing worsens for smart watch users. While keyboards and touch interactions are available, the real problem is fitting everything in the viewport. It is in this application where we start to run into things like keyboards that don’t fit on the entire screen, and a myriad of vertical height and zoom constraints.

Sure it might be possible to browse the web from a wearable device, but with all of the difficulties involved one has to ask, why not just use a cellphone?

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My take on wearables is from a different perspective. They are just not healthy! Wireless signals, radiation, the effects of pulse microwaves, even low power bluetooth, has all been shown to negatively impact our bodies and cause cellular damage.
Google Glass will die because they’ve already shown it causes eye damage and migraines. The effects of WIFI signals on sleep is also been researched. The common health advice now is to keep your wireless crap out of the bedroom and turn off the WIFI signal at night. And for goodness sake, don’t allow the power company to install a smart meter, which is magnitudes more harmful than even your cellphone!

Do your brain a favor, and your body, and reduce the radiation and microwaves you giddily bake in all day. I won’t be strapping any personal cancer devices directly to my skin any time soon.

Whoever invents wireless communication that doesn’t harm living cells will win every prize mankind offers, and get filthy rich while doing it. But of course humankind needs to accept that our current technology is slowly killing us first.

Aren’t we all in the process of dying from the moment we are born?

Naturally, yes. Unnaturally though? Why inflict that too?

What surprises me is that all the health problems we suffer through our whole lives are thought of as just the price of being alive. That is to say, shrug your shoulders and just accept that poor eyesight at 5 years old, eczema, obesity, high blood pressure, poor digestion, bad sleep, food sensitivities, allergies, foggy thinking, no energy or zeal, low stamina and no motivation are just normal functions of living. We don’t think twice about poor school performance, extreme mood swings, depression, anger, addictions, dependency on drugs. It doesn’t strike people as odd to see heart attacks in 30-somethings, cancer in toddlers, diabetes in teenagers, 8 years olds hitting puberty, breast cancer in 20 year old girls.
A stack of prescription meds is a common sight in any household, kids are getting herded into the ADD/ADHD camp left and right. But it’s all just normal cause after all we are dying slowly after we’re born right?

We praise every poison invented by science and medicine, as long as it’s got a patent and turns a profit, it’s the best thing ever invented for mankind! While vitamins, minerals, organic food, avoiding toxins and processed food, and getting exercise are for quacks and spirit people who live in tents with crystals and heal by the power of cosmic touching.

But that’s not me. The strait decline in human health is directly correlated to our complete immersion in unhealthy food, gadgets, drugs, medicine, and lifestyles.
It is not normal to be born into obesity, be pumped with vaccines and antibiotics, get on drugs by 7, hit puberty at 8, get asthma and eczema, be hospitalized by 25, and have your first heart attack on your 30th birthday and go shopping for assisted living housing at 45 and your first wheelchair at 50.

But nothing will change as long as we ignore the damage that we are causing ourselves by our addiction to new technologies supposedly built for our enjoyment and productivity.

I’m always reminded of the quote in Jurrassic Park. Something like “we’re so preoccupied with whether or not we could, we didn’t stop to think if we should”.

A wearable device, strapped directly to your skin pumping microwaves into your cells does not sound like a “should” to me.

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Science told people that watching TV was harmful for their eyes but people keep doing it, so this perspective is very good but the majority of the people would not care about it. Also, we’ve been receiving a lot of radiation with our computers and smartphones but we are still here.

We all know what they said about the iPad when it was launched. “No one will need it, no one will buy it.”. And we know they were wrong. I get the same vibes when I read this post. I am quite sure wearable devices will be widespread in the future.


It is not normal to be born into obesity, be pumped with vaccines and antibiotics, get on drugs by 7, hit puberty at 8, get asthma and eczema, be hospitalized by 25, and have your first heart attack on your 30th birthday and go shopping for assisted living housing at 45 and your first wheelchair at 50.

No, you’re right, that’s not normal. Luckily, since this sort of a life is not normal… it’s more like an edge case that’s not a big issue. Especially as it pertains to this conversation.

We all know what they said about the iPad when it was launched. “No one will need it, no one will buy it.”. And we know they were wrong. I get the same vibes when I read this post. I am quite sure wearable devices will be widespread in the future.

I think I tend to agree. I don’t want wearables myself. But I will admit that the market is in its infancy still. What use will they be? I… have no idea. If you had asked someone what use the iPhone would be, at the moment of its release, I bet they would not have told you that you’d be remote controlling computers with it, watching high definition videos on a connection faster perhaps than your own land line, and photo editing, document editing, remote controlling cameras, drones, and screens; as well as calling, texting, and etc.
Just because we can’t conceive of the ideas right now doesn’t at all mean they won’t happen. But, this “wearables will die” is a popular opinion at the moment, and therefore we’ll see plenty of articles on the subject, I’m sure. And who knows - it absolutely could be spot-on!

I totally agree. New technologies are always incredulous! They are usually more trouble than they are worth! But the engineers and inventors ignore that and think to what could be and little problem by little problem gets solved. In the end you go from a “phone” which weighs a tonne, has a great big brick of a battery connected to it by a wire, to a super computer which can play movies, music, take photos, locate it’s self using satellites, monitor your health and endless other things.

All of the problems you have stated are solvable.

Early Cars
Early Mobile Phones
Early Computers

The question wasn’t about whether it would be popular or widespread, the question is that it is harmful to the human race and whether we need to subject ourselves to more useless unnecessary gadgetry and pretend it is somehow making us more productive.

The same battle going on right now for junk food companies to clean up their crap food that is killing people, is going to be the same battle with tech companies who need to clean up their dirty electronics that are killing people.

As long as people keep ignoring health consequences and slobbering after every new gadget Apple invents, we will continue to be plagued by mysterious chronic health issues that also get swept under the rug as “that’s just life”.

You have to consider the huge positive impact these devices can have on health too. Examples being that they can warn you of all sorts of defects, help you get a healthy nights sleep, call an abulance automatically if your health rapidly deteriates (heart attack, stroke, etc). Those are just some examples, there are many more too.

In the UK 1 in 5 men die of a heart attack, And 1 in 254 people in the UK die of cancer. So lets for arguments sake assume all cancer is caused by gadgets,

~60,000,000 people in the UK
~20% die of a heart attack = 12,000,000
~0.4% die of cancer from gadgets = 240,000
Assume gadgets can save 10% of heart attack victims by giving early warning and calling emergency services in the event of a heart attack. Thats 1,200,000 saved.

So no gadgets = 12,000,000 deaths from heart attack alone
Gadgets = (12,000,000 - 1,200,000 = 10,800,000) + 240,000 = 11,040,000

Remember this is assuming gadgets cause all cancer, which they dont and that gadgets only save 10% of heart attack victims, which are just one thing they do health wise. And STILL gadgets come out on top overwhelmingly.

Well that’s a fun thought experiment. But I’d prefer:

Don’t use gadgets, eliminate cancer altogether.
Promote healthier living to reduce heart attacks too.

I might just add, it isn’t that it’s a “gadget” that makes it unhealthy, it’s just the cell-destruction caused by microwaves that cause damage. A gadget can monitor blood pressure, heart beat, sleep patterns, et al and not need to do any harmful transmitting unless necessary. But that isn’t happening, gadgets want to constantly communicate at all times, pumping data back to the matrix “architect” for processing and searching for computers to connect with, broadcasting for hosts, etc.

I’d be perfectly happy with gadgets that have ZERO radiation output and data only uploads when I tell it to, or if the gadget MUST due to emergency situations.

Check out this interview with Ben Greenfield and Jack Kruse, talking about Bluetooth and other wireless communications hazards: http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/01/is-bluetooth-radiation-dangerous/
Namely, listen to the “part 2” section.

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