As a blogger wearing Google Glass found out in a San Francisco bar last month (tech writer Sarah Slocum claims she was assaulted by Google Glass haters), wearable tech may have some societal hurdles yet to overcome. But there is little doubt that companies both large and small see wearable as the next big step in how we use technology for work and play. Reports from the SXSW festival, much like the Consumer Electronics Show back in January, have focused on wearable tech as companies seek resources — financial and human — to help them develop the next big thing in technology.
Google has probably made the most news with the announcement that the company would release tools to enable software developers to make Android apps for wearable tech devices, and not just Google Glass.
"When we think of wearables, we think of it as a platform. We see a world of sensors," Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, Android and apps at Google, told the SXSW audience (via The Guardian). "Sensors can be small and powerful, and gather a lot of information that can be useful for users. We want to build the right APIs for this world of sensors."
A number of analysts have said that Google's announcement will speed the rate that new products are introduced and ultimately adopted. Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research, told the San Jose Mercury News, "The world could be very different six to eight months from now."
Will the commercial or consumer market be the biggest driver of wearable devices in the near term?