When looking at Google Glass and the first smartwatches, don’t forget how bad the 1st iPhone was

December 26, 2013 — Leave a comment

In my experience this last year wearing Google Glass, a Nike Fuelband and a Pebble smartwatch, humans want technology to be perfect, or they dismiss it. Just about every person I give demos to comments on the fashion, battery life, cost and utility of these devices.

This may be the gut reaction of most people to emerging tech products that seem scary or forgettable, but history shows that in practice, we tend to accept expensive, clunky and inferior tech if the value exchange is high enough.

If new and emerging tech products add value or change a paradigm, we should be and are willing to overlook 1.0 awkwardness. The first Gameboy barely resembles today’s 3DS, just as the new Chromebook has come very far from the Atanasoff–Berry Computer.

A more recent and compelling analog to looking past wearable technology’s foibles and find underlying value is to consider how backward the first iPhone was in battery life, weight and price.

The First iPhone - Business Insider

But soon that phone would emerge to disrupt countless markets and products. Those who criticized the leap in touch-enabled user experience and connection with a central application store that shared programs to capitalize on the new technology…

There’s a good lesson here. Don’t dismiss new technology and emerging behavior just because you personally don’t see value or are able to define faults. Glass and smartwatches and other wearable tech will continue to evolve, adapt and learn from our application. The devices six years from today may be very different, but that doesn’t mean we should prematurely reject today’s tech.

Unless you like your dial-up internet, desktop computer, tractor feed 2D printer and paper rolodex. In that case, criticize away. Write me a letter about it, actually.

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