If someone from the 19th century (or even a modern Rip Van Winkle who fell asleep in 1994) were to walk in on someone playing Wii tennis, what might he or she think?
Technology is awesome in many ways, but sometimes it causes us to look … odd.
Depending on your age, you may have imagined hopping into your flying car like George Jetson to drive to work, or jumping on your hoverboard to get to class, but the reality of tech sometimes falls seriously short in terms of how cool it looks. Here are some examples of really amazing technology, and how foolish it can sometimes look.
Unintentionally Flirting with Google Glass
There are multiple ways to take photos with Google Glass, but the fastest way (once you have it set up) is to wink with your right eye. On the Google Glass display is a little sensor that monitors eyelid movement and acts as a wink detector. So, you’re an average guy, walking around town on a sunny Saturday afternoon when you notice a rather intimidating biker on a spectacular motorcycle stopped at a traffic light. The throaty idling gives the ground a bit of a vibration, sunlight gleams off the chrome, and you want to commemorate this amazing feat of two-wheeled engineering in a photo. So what happens when Vlad McBikerdude meets your gaze just as you’re winking in order to take his picture?
Scaring People With Oculus Rift
By all accounts, the Oculus Rift experience is amazing. Then again, so is watching someone experiencing the Oculus Rift. You’re essentially watching someone who is immersed in another world, reacting as she might be expected to: swaying this way or that, throwing her arms over her face in a protective motion, or tipping over backwards while attempting to maintain balance. It’s like watching the human version of the cat who gets its head stuck in a yogurt cup, suddenly unable see anything, trying with increasing agitation to back out of it.
Telling People How You Really Feel … With Tech!
Smiling, waving, nodding your head: who needs old-fashioned body language (unless you’re controlling your Google Glass, of course)? Last December, a company called Sensoree started taking preorders for the GER: Galvanic Extimacy Responder, which is basically an LED mood ring in the form of a sweater. The garment is supposed to promote “extimacy – externalized intimacy.” Here’s how it works: sensors are placed on the wearer’s hands, which read “excitement levels” and translate them into a palette of colors displayed around the high, cowl-like collar embedded with LED lights. A calm wearer supposedly causes it to glow a teal color, while someone who is nervous or in love will glow red. You should wear one to your next job interview. What could possibly go wrong?
If he were wearing his GER sweater, we might have some clue as to how he feels about getting a new car.
They’re drums! They’re pants! Touted as “an entire band in your pocket,” Drum Pants incorporate a snare, tom, cymbal, kick-drum, hi-hat, and loop pedal into a pair of pants that look nothing like chimney sweep Bert’s one-man band outfit in Mary Poppins. You’ll be shocked to learn that Drum Pants started out as an idea for a practical joke, then turned into a Kickstarter, and now you can actually buy your very own pair. And, they’re Bluetooth and MIDI compatible. Imagine someone wearing drum pants while playing Wii boxing (and if you ever see this, be sure to wink a picture with your Google Glass, OK?).
Stupid Looking Tech Has Always Been with Us
Lest you think that odd-looking technology is solely a product of the 21st century, remember (if you can) that in the 80s, people proudly wore calculator watches. Too large to function aesthetically as a watch, and too small to function as a calculator for anyone with human-sized fingers, the calculator watch perhaps looked toward a dystopian future when pockets for carrying around things like pocket calculators would be obsolete.