By Tyler Quillin
Remember Google Glass? The spectacles Google
developed that allowed users to have hands-free, smart technology integrated into their eyewear.
Well, Google Glass did not do as well as projected, and Google ceased production in 2015. However, Google and Samsung are now rumored to be taking “wearable technology,” like Google Glass, to another level.
Both Google and Samsung are reportedly developing similar “smart” contact lenses. News surfaced on April 5, 2016 that Samsung submitted a patent application for contact lenses with built-in cameras and other features. And both companies’ patent applications describe contact lenses containing a camera, sensors to detect movement, and antennae to interface with smart devices. Some speculate that blinking could control the lenses, which poses potential concerns over accidental commands. However, by placing the device directly on the eye, the companies hope to improve clarity and accuracy, features that Google Glass lacked. Continue reading
By Andrew H. Fuller
The American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Oregon chapter and four other state chapters offer a smartphone app called Mobile Justice, which allows users to easily record interactions with the police. In addition to recording and transmitting footage, the app has a “Witness” button that sends out a user’s location to alert other Mobile Justice users in the area when they have been approached by the police. Once other Mobile Justice users have a user’s location, they can find that user and record their interaction with the police.
While this sort of Sousveillance activity is not unheard of—indeed, there are other apps that provide smartphone users with similar features—there are some serious concerns about these apps. Perhaps the most obvious concern is that a police officer may think that a user pulling out their phone to record is reaching for a weapon. In response to this concern, the ACLU of Oregon’s website for Mobile Justice has a portion of the page warning users on how to safely use the app. Continue reading
By Cheryl Lee
Wearable Technology is one of the hottest new technology areas today. Apple Watch, Google Glass, as well as health monitoring devices like FitBit, may be some of the most well known examples of wearable technology. However, there are many others in development. Future wearable technology even includes jewelry such as smart earrings that can monitor one’s heart rate as well as energy burned and allows the user to sync wirelessly with a smartphone or a PC. Morgan Stanley estimated the potential market size for wearable technology at $1.6 trillion and noted that wearable devices will become the fastest consumer technology devices. IDC Worldwide Wearable Computing Device 2014-2018 Forecast and Analysis predicts that by 2018, wearable technology will account for 10% of the global electronics market. There is even a Wearable Technologies Conference in Milan, Italy, the fashion capital of the world, with a focus on bringing together the world of fashion and the world of technology.
Wearable technology refers to electronic technologies or computers that are incorporated into items of clothing and accessories, which can be worn on the body or attached to clothes. These wearable technologies, like Google Glass and Apple Watch, perform many of the same computing tasks as mobile phones and laptop computers. As the invasion of the latest wearable technologies continues to pervade our everyday lives and workplace, it creates issues for the workplace and the employers. Someone wearing Google Glass or an Apple Watch can take photos and videos of documents, which might potentially infringe upon someone else’s proprietary rights. These confidential documents can be uploaded directly to a personal account in the Cloud and then deleted from the wearable device. The risk of inadvertent disclosure of an employer’s trade secret is significant; it could result in millions of dollars in licensing revenue losses or loss of a competitive advantage. Despite such risks, the employer’s policy to regulate the usage and restrictions in the workplace may be quite challenging. Continue reading
By Doug Logan
The idea of wearable electronics has long been associated with distant technologies that never quite materialize. But as technology keeps marching forward, so does the prospect of having highly functional devices that are layered on, attached to, or even embedded into our bodies. Many are now familiar with Google’s Google Glass, the wearable eyewear that provides users with a functional screen and camera attached to a pair of glasses, yet fewer are familiar with other wearable technologies on the horizon.
Intel recently announced its “Make It Wearable” competition finalists. The finalists include: a project aimed at allowing users to run on a treadmill and read at the same time by tracking the vertical motion of the user and matching the text’s movement; a jacket that cools down hot people and warms cold people; a wisdom tooth monitoring device that tracks conditions in one’s mouth after wisdom teeth removal; a small listening device designed to track the voices of those speaking to children; and a special fabric designed to absorb human sweat and carbon dioxide in order to produce oxygen. Continue reading