FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Downside of Wearable Computing

Sometimes, technology just isn't worth the hassle...

For all you road warriors who get annoyed at having to unpack your laptop every time you go through airport security, consider the experience of University of Toronto engineer and self-professed "cyborg" Steve Mann. Mann, who frequently wears a sensor- and wire-laden suit and vision-augmenting sunglasses, pushes wearable computing to the extreme:

Three years ago, a fully wired Mann was barred by airport security from boarding a flight in Newfoundland. Mann said he was strip-searched and injured by airport staff when electrodes were ripped from his body, and lost $56,800 worth of sensitive equipment. "I was dizzy and disoriented and went downhill from there," he said.

The conflict between wearable computing and the realities of post-9/11 air travel is just one of the challenges that transhumanists like Mann will face as they continue to experiment with body-augmenting technology.

Source: Edmonton Sun