But if wearable is going to get anywhere it’ll need to embrace the pointless. It’s the domain of the pointless, the terrain of the trivial. If we were all being practical, we’d wear identical nylon boiler suits and £4 watches — but that’s not the species we’re in. We’re the species that evolved a fashion industry and Global Hypercolor T-shirts. Efficiency is not a priority for wearables. What are the cheap fashion applications? What accessories can Claire’s sell? What can you buy at the garden centre and down the market?
Recently I read some disappointing pieces in various popular tech outlets breathlessly heralding the arrival of wearables, espousing the virtues of ‘invisible’ and ‘natural’ interfaces, all the while limiting technology to only the current wave of computation. So I was relieved to see this counterpoint by Russell. People might be put off by his insistence on the insatiable human passion for the useless and garish, but it rings more true to me than most accounts of tech dissolving in the environment.