This week Google Glass started to ship to Explorers and we will soon see if this takes off and start to see people walking around with a screen in front of their eyes instead of focusing on the ones that they are carrying in their pockets.
I came across this short film by Stephan Zlotescu entitled “True Skin” (below the fold) which depicts a futuristic world where wearable devices have leaped from accessories to cyborg modifications of our bodies. This got me thinking - how far off are we from this actually becoming a reality?
The film is situated in futuristic Bangkok where human cyber modification is the norm. “Naturals” are being phased out and its expected that you have some sort of technical modification in order to keep up with society.
With wearable devices like Nike Fuelband, Pebble, the upcoming iWatch and Project Glass all being widely accepted in society (so far) the jump from wearable accessories to implants seems much more a reality now than what would be considered only a science fiction movie in my childhood.
We are already learning about companies like MC10 who are making computer chips as flexible and tiny as to fit on a skin like a tattoo and I can’t see us wearing Glass as glasses for too long before contact lenses take their place. Once you start wearing skin tattoos and contacts, how long is it that it starts to make sense that we should just have these items embedded in us for “convenience”?
Our willingness to adopt new technologies has come a long way. The tablet is seeing the highest adoption rate of any new tech to market and if the wearables meet analyst expectations, they should match this pace or exceed it. If this is the case, I expect that cyborg modification will seem like a natural progression in our technological evolution rather than a scary phenomenon we like to depict as the end of humanity in film.
The short film is only 5 minutes or so long. I highly recommend it. Especially if you love Minority Report and the new Total Recall.