A person’s computer should be worn, much as eyeglasses or clothing are worn, and interact with the user based on the context of the situation. With heads-up displays, unobtrusive input devices, personal wireless local area networks, and a host of other context sensing and communication tools, the wearable computer can act as an intelligent assistant, whether it be through a Remembrance Agent, augmented reality, or intellectual collectives.
The objective of wearable computer design is to merge the user’s information space with his or her work space. The wearable computer should offer seamless integration of information processing tools with the existing work environment. To accomplish this, the wearable system must offer functionality in a natural and unobtrusive manner, allowing the user to dedicate all of his or her attention to the task at hand with no distraction provided by the system itself.
Steve Mann has been building wearable computers oriented around “mediated reality” since 1980. He is the author of several books including, Cyborg: Digital Destiny and Human Possibility in the Age of the Wearable Computer.
The Oregon Wearable Computer is a body-worn multi-purpose computer designed for tasks that require hands-free operation. It is equipped with a heads-up display and a hands-free voice driven user-interface.
Wearable computer research at the HIT Lab is focused in two directions; intuitive interfaces for wearable computers, and using wearable computers to enhance collaborative work.
The Tinmith system is designed to support research into outdoor augmented reality. We have developed new easy to use user interface techniques to be used in 3D environments where keyboards and mice cannot be used. Using these user interfaces, we have developed complex applications which allow users to interact with their environment, and enter new information into the system about the world.
Because of the nature of wearable computers, compared with their static counterparts, we believe that there is an opportunity to explore how humans and computers communicate in this unique and dynamic environment, utilising speech and vision processing in order to create a more natural interface to the machine. Using agent technologies it should also be possible to aid the user in their search/retrieval of information.
The PLEB project now makes up a number of projects which hope to develop hardware and software suitable in Portable and Embedded applications areas such as Palm Computing, Wearable Computing, Robotics, Real Time Systems, Automotive Systems, Wireless Systems, etc.
Wearable Computing (or e-wear) is recognised as an exciting technological field in it’s early stage. The Bristol Initiative is concerned with exploring the potential of computer devices that are as unconsciously portable and as personal as clothes or jewellery.
Using smart textiles, micro-technologies and new manufacturing techniques we aim to develop innovative clothing. From end user needs to commercial realities, fabric performance to human ergonomics. Our research will acknowledge the multidisciplinary nature of smart clothing, encouraging academic and commercial collaboration as opportunities arise.
Georgia Tech Contextual Computing Group’s research is focused on the field of contextually-aware, wearable computing systems. They are interested in how the continued emergence of on-body computational resources will impact society.
MARS (Mobile Augmented Reality Systems) is aimed at exploring the synergy of two promising fields of user interface research: Augmented reality (AR), in which 3D displays are used to overlay a synthesized world on top of the real world, and mobile computing, in which increasingly small and inexpensive computing devices and wireless networking allow users to have access to computing facilities while roaming the real world.
The Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC) is located at Arizona State University. Most ubiquitous computing research takes a technology-centric view in solving real world problems. It is our belief that a balanced technology and problem-centric view is required in tackling challenging application domains. We also believe that by targeting applications that require ubiquitous computing solutions, in contrast to applications with a ubiquitous computing flavor brings out the underlying challenges that need to be addressed. In keeping with this spirit, we have chosen to serve the needs of physically challenged individuals by empowering them with ubiquitous and pervasive computing technologies to enrich their lives.