On wearables

Seeing hacks like this, it isn’t hard to follow the threads of these behaviors back to the genesis of insights that led to today’s crop of hands-free Bluetooth/wireless headsets. The same wisdom that applies to cameras also applies to such devices, it turns out: the best tool for the job is the one you have with you when the job needs doing.*

In the case of this gentleman arranging his goods in a wholesale flower market in Hanoi, as long as he’s wearing the proper beanie/toque, he effectively has hands-free functionality as and when needed (within certain behavioral tolerances, of course – for example he’d have to be particularly bold to use this same solution as-is while riding a motorbike). Nonetheless, a lot of added functionality without the need to carry or keep anything else charged.

How long until such tools (like headsets) that come with their own set of accompanying maintenance behaviors, charging accessories, and cognitive load, disappear into the very clothing we wear? What will it look like when the tools we once had to intentionally carry with us become what we instead put on without a second thought?

*Note that as smartphone cameras have improved, the DSLR camera market wasn’t doing all that well even before people stopped traveling, so the 54% decline in DSLR sales shouldn’t be overly surprising.

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