Monday, February 22, 2016

5 futuristic oddities from the weird world of wearable tech

Today, wearable technology includes fitness trackers, wearable cameras, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices. In the future, the futurists predict the merging of man and machine. The article discusses "there are two basic paths for the future of weasel tech -- either machines will end up inside us, or we will end up inside machines -- but either way, the hybrid-machine future is closer than we might think," which is interesting (Basulto, 2016). For example, Los Angeles Times predicts robotic exoskeletons, portable mind monitors, stealth wear, smart textiles and smart clothing, and wearable tech that runs on the human operating system.

The article discusses "the first generation of exoskeletons that included those that were largely for purposes of rehabilitation or regeneration" (Basulto, 2016). Also, the article discusses "the next generation of exoskeletons promises to give human super-abilities" (Basulto, 2016). I think robotic exoskeletons are important because humans can regain the performance of a damaged limb. However, I think robotic exoskeletons can be "ethically questionable" because it could be one way for troops to gain superhuman capabilities. The article discusses "the Talos "Iron Man suit" provides full bulletproof body armor, a helmet-based heads-up-display of the surrounding and enhanced capacity to carry more powerful weaponry while overcoming any obstacles in the environment" (Basulto, 2016). I think "military necessity" can justify actions, such as, robotic exoskeletons, that are otherwise impermissible (Lin, 2012). Also, I think troops with robotic exoskeletons would rush into riskier situations than their normal counterparts (Lin, 2012).

The article discusses "stealth clothing is similar to the idea of stealth technology used by the military; in this case, you need to find the right reflective material that can block surveillance cameras and mobile tracking devices" (Basulto, 2016). I think "stealth wear" is important because it would benefit military personnel, which is good. However, "stealth wear" could be the solution to non-military personnel if they want to go completely off the grid, which is bad.

I think the article dealt with a few of the important aspects of wearable technology. The article discussed the similarities and differences between the first generation and second generation of robotic exoskeletons. Also, the article discussed the similarities and differences between "stealth wear" for military and non-milatry personnel. However the article didn't discuss the ethics of robotic exoskeletons, such as, superhuman capabilities Also, the article didn't discuss the bad aspects of wearable technology, such as, non-military personnel going completely off the grid.

Basulto, Dominic. "5 Futuristic Oddities From the Weird Wold of Wearable Tech." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.
Patrick, Lin. "More Than Human? The Ethics of Biologically Enhancing Soilders." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 16 Feb. 2012. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

1 comment:

  1. le technology is a rapidly growing industry that is both extremely relevant to this course and excites me personally. My generation carries smartphones around so much that they basically are part of our outfit, but wearable technology can be used for so much more.
    The exoskeletons mentioned in the article seem like they can be really useful. Using machines to physically enhance humans could be very beneficial. One point highlighted in the original blog post that I fully agree with is the potential misuse of this technology. Since the beginning of man technological advancements are always turned into weapons or used by militaries in some way or another. I would much rather see exoskeleton machines used by paraplegics and others would physical disabilities to be able to function easier than to see them used to harm others. Having said that the stealth mode mentioned and the stronger wearable technology could be used to keep our soldiers safer abroad.
    As interesting as physically enhancing wearable technology is, I am more captivated by its nonphysical uses, specifically regarding human memory. In the picture included in the article a soldier has some sort of helmet on with four different lenses. If wearable lenses like that could record and store video of everyday actions, humans would be able to recall memories on storage files from every moment of their life. That benefits to that are limitless. Court testimonies and crimes could be viewed by many from the original vantage point, memories of friends and families could be shared by others, no one would be able to lie about where they were that day and much more. I want to live in a future where wearable technology is put to that use.
    Obviously it would not be great to depend on machines that much. A certain balance is necessary for the future of this sort of technology and we must progress carefully in this area. This article and subject matter as a whole is very interesting and I can’t wait to see the wearable technologies that come out in the future.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.