I always have a feeling that the form and function of cell phones and computers have evolved to a fixed standpoint: computers are productivity tools, cell phones work as mobile devices to fill the life scenario that computers can’t be used. This phenomenon makes me not have great expectation of cell phones and computers. Cell phone manufacturers catch up with each other, and only paying lip service to “cross-generation” era has become tasteless for me. As a result, I started to look for the prospect of electronic products and put my eyes on wearable devices.
The first time I learned about wearable devices was in 2014 when I first learned about google glass, slim frames, optical head-mounted display, and cool processing unit. It was so futuristic! I was very excited about this product to the point where I think the future trend of consumer electronics is wearable. However, it was a real slap right on my face. Until now, this kind of optoelectronic glasses have not be populated at all, gradually fading away from our sight.
My interpretation is that, wearable devices like Google Glass can not completely replace common forms of hardware. It can only work as an additional tool for cell phones and computers, as icing on the cake. This is shown from the final destination of Google Glass -Commercial Usage: medicine, manufacturing, logistics and other industries. I realize that wearable devices can only help with common devices, not change them.
With the mindset of trying, the first wearable device I owned was Xiaomi Band 2. Although it didn’t have a fancy appearance, the simple UI and the feeling of wearing fit my pursuit of simplicity in daily life more. From the day that I put it on, I had ever taken it off except charging. I was interested in steps recording, which was more accurate than the phone, since i never took it off. The heart rate measuring was better than nothing in daily life. The sleep monitoring was the most useful tool in my eye. Caring about how well I slept yesterday has became the first thing in the morning instead of scrolling WeChat Moment and reading news. Combined with the battery life of two weeks, I did think this bracelet was worthy. It really made me feel what a good consumer-grade wearable should be - practical and helpful without taking up too much of our life.
In 2020, Xiaomi Band has updated to the 5th generation, and I think it shows the potential of wearable devices even more, with a larger screen that displays more information on a similar body. A customizable dial is also a highlight. The NFC option allows access cards and traffic cards to be integrated into the wrist and be readily available. Numerous hardware features coordinate with the simple Xiaomi sports software let users to have a very smooth experience.
However, the biological data collected by this type of device has the same risk of being leaked as other data. In the process of Bluetooth connection between the bracelet and cell phone and the cloud synchronizing feature, the threat from bad operators or hackers may use users’ information for other purposes. This is something that users need to be aware of while enjoying the novelty of technology.
Everything in modern society is being quantified. Image, sound, and text are the main information mediums, while biodata is also being digitized through wearable devices. I believe that biodata will play an essential role in the Internet, so let’s wait and see!