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?

Awk­ward moments from the future of com­put­ing (Wired UK)

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.

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.