What it is: Wearable computing is just getting started and the future lies with exoskeletons that people wear on their entire bodies.
When the Apple Watch first came out, many people dismissed it as a product without a purpose. Of course, when the first PCs came out, most people didn’t think they needed one either. When the first mobile phones came out, most people thought ordinary landline telephones were still good enough for them. When the first tablets appeared, most people didn’t think they’d need one either.
If you just early technology by its limitations rather than its promise, absolutely nothing has a purpose or a future. Horses worked perfectly well compared to the early automobiles, so why bother ever getting rid of a horse? It’s this type of thinking that highlights the masses of unimaginative people who can’t see the future beyond the present.
Yet a company called SuitX has made a $40,000 exoskeleton designed to help paralyzed people walk. Beyond the mechanical strength needed to hold a person up, the exoskeleton uses motors and computers to help a paralyzed person walk normally while masking the exoskeleton’s appearance easily underneath baggy clothes. With this exoskeleton, paralyzed people can walk normally on their own.
Besides targeting paralyzed people, SuitX can also help stroke victims and people with neurological disorders.
Naturally if an exoskeleton can help the disabled, imagine how an exoskeleton could also be used to strengthen a healthy person’s abilities by allowing them to lift heavy objects by hand without the need for a forklift.
Exoskeletons are the ultimate form of a wearable computer and they’re already here today. That means you can expect to see a lot more exoskeletons in the future along with smaller, more capable wearable computers as well.
The wearable computer market is poised to grow rapidly with the Apple Watch helping bring awareness to this potentially explosive new field. If you think you can’t use a wearable computer, you may be right. Then again, you may just be lacking the imagination to take advantage of new technology in ways that the rest of the world can enjoy.