Feeds

Google wearables: A solution looking for a rich nerd

Some revolutions never happen. This might be one of them

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Steam and diesel

It amazes technology historians that Britain developed 20,000 miles (32,000km) of railway around the middle of the 19th century. No village in the land was further than 15 miles from a railway station, and many communities had a choice of two. The operating companies were simultaneously the largest companies in the world at the time - I believe LNW, today's West Coast Main Line, was the largest. And yet, because, they were debt-ridden and had overextended themselves, they were also constantly broke. They staggered on because stream-powered rail was a vastly superior technology to horses or canals; it was the only game in town.

But at the first sign of competition, from urban trams at the turn of the 20th Century, the edifice collapsed. The British train companies were "grouped" and then, later, nationalised.

In other countries, whose industrial development lagged behind the UK (ie, everyone), the mind-boggling track splurge never took place, because a more "personal" and convenient transport technology came along: the internal combustion engine. Countries developed urban mass transit, and trunk routes between conurbations, but everything else was left to make internal combustion engine-powered travel easier.

Some pundits (and readers) see an inexorable progression of the dominant technology platform into ever smaller and more wearable things. This enthusiasm was summed up by Martin Geddes recently: "Luggage, portable, mobile, wearable, implantable, ingestible, excretable. One day, you will be crapping computers, the new human parasite". Wearable enthusiasts point to our capacity for carrying multiple gadgets around with us.

But for a Wearable World to transpire, where it is the dominant platform, the smartphone has to give way. We must imagine it will collapse just as the Victorian train companies collapsed. I simply don't see that, for the reason Google has inadvertently illustrated in its video.

In developed markets we already have general purpose smartphones that do everything Google has demonstrated: there's no killer app, which translates into significantly greater convenience. Since voice remains the most popular human communication mechanism, so the phone - or a phone, of some kind - will be with us.

Is this "New Era of Wearable Computing" really just next year's round-up of Earpieces? I'm beginning to think it is. And that doesn't sound anything like as sexy, does it? ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.