Opinion: The Missing Puzzle Piece in Wearable Computing Interfaces

In my opinion, immersive computing interfaces are extremely difficult to navigate with the current input devices we have available. I’m going to describe a wearables scenario that seems like a very effective non-invasive near-future computing platform. Imagine three new accessories that are not on the mass market and/or have not quite taken off yet…

Glasses:

If you have any interest in computers and are not totally in the dark, then by now you’re probably aware of Augmented Reality or AR. This is a technology that literally augments reality with a computer feedback layer. You can currently use most smartphones to do this but a pair of lightweight glasses is more along the lines of what people are hoping for.

Ring:

I predict a ring input device for the above glasses. Something that becomes as simple as a laser pointer, scroll wheel, and physical button in AR. A device that allows us to interact with what’s on the other side of the glass screen in front of our eyes.

Cap:

Recently there is an article on “Science Daily” about how engineers have translated brain signals directly into speech. At the moment we have many assistant devices like Siri, Google Home, and Alexa that interface with data sets or your computer/smartphone with speech commands. Imagine a simple cap that can go under a hat that can do this.

Now here is a rough use case scenario…

Imagine wearing the glasses, ring, and cap, and wanting to accomplish some sort of task in silence. In this instance, you may want to use the ring to point a virtual laser at a holographic record button to record your thoughts. Say you want to turn on the lights in your house. Watch it type out this thought on the AR glasses screen and then point the laser at the stop button to finish. After, press the submit button to have the computers assistant help you accomplish these tasks without actually speaking a word.

This use case would be a huge advancement in making an immersive computer that is worthy of actual real computer work, not just games.

It is also an even bigger privacy concern. Companies like Facebook will have a problem getting this off the ground unless they dramatically change their policy and will likely need a new CEO to make it more concrete in the public’s eye.

Apple, on the other hand, is ideally situated for this with their privacy policy. This to me speaks a lot about the future of AR and who is geared up to succeed and who is not.