With the Apple Watch set to go head to head with its smartwatch Android rival – the LG Watch Urbane – and the Wearable Technology Show at ExCel taking place in London on 10-11 March, this promises to be a red-letter month for wearable tech
Ever since the Apple Watch was announced last year, there’s been feverish speculation about its look and functionality, but we know to expect shininess, following an interview with the New Yorker, published in February, in which Apple design VP Jonathan Ive hinted at “aluminium and stainless steel, and gold, and different alloys of gold”.
It’s certain to be one of the hot topics at the event in London Docklands, which will cover augmented reality and the Internet of Things as well as wearables, and will offer attendees the chance to hear talks by the industry’s leading experts and view product demonstrations from across the world.
Then comes British Science Week (13-22 March), a 10-day programme of science, tech, engineering and maths events across the UK, and Time Out’s Futurefest (14-15 March).
But, as an antidote to all the fevered speculation about the future, here are some wearable gems from yesteryear that slipped quietly – and almost instantly – into obsolescence.
Hugo Gernsback’s TV glasses His invention may have looked ridiculous, but Luxembourgian-American Gernsback – also a writer and publisher – is still sometimes referred to as the ‘father of science fiction’.
Doug Platt’s Hip-PC This 1991 invention was a 286-chip, shoebox-sized affair, with a palm-sized keyboard designed to be worn on the hip. It didn’t catch on, but the fitness boom means hip-worn pedometers are now commonplace.
Edgar Matias’s Wrist Computer Based on the first personal digital assistant introduced by Hewlett-Packard in April 1991, Matias’s creation had a half-Qwerty (one-handed) wearable keyboard.