Google Glass, “smart” watches, “smart” shoes, etc…I’m not sure about this.
Today, an article about “smart shoes” popped up on my newsfeed. Apparently, an Indian company has developed a shoe enabled with Bluetooth. It syncs up with Google Maps and sends a little buzz to your foot when you’re supposed to turn. Part of me thinks this is cool, but part of me is a fan of normal shoes.
Call me a Luddite, but wearable technology devices go a bit too far for me. I really do not want to be plugged in every single second of my waking life – my smartphone is bad enough. What ever happened to getting lost? Or getting into lengthy debates without pulling out an iPhone? Or going for a run or bike ride without tracking it? I know that this stuff is all very useful and in some ways, it’s really cool to see science fiction style technology making it into the real world. Still, it’s all very distracting; it’s hard to experience the real world while you’re constantly looking at your map, tracker, or feeling buzzes in your shoes. One of my favourite things about visiting the Outer Hebrides was the fact that we rarely had mobile Internet. There were many times when we had no mobile signal at all. There was something refreshing about being unplugged.
Still, Open Street Maps offline GPS maps got us out of a few snags, so I really don’t know what to think.