New Media

Wearable Media

Today in my New Media class, our professor lead us in a group discussion. It went well enough. There were opposing views across the campus’, but it is to be expected.

The topic that my group talked about had to do with the book we are reading; Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte. It is an interesting read actually. Once I began reading more and more of it, it seemed to me as though it was more feelings and beliefs. My classmate, Kaitlyn Lingefelt stated that she thought “It seemed more like a book of predictions and opinions than anything. It does not seem to have research.” I thought about what she had said and realized that she was right.

Negroponte talks about the future and how everything would be so different. He was right abou- a few things, however, his imagination was running while as he wrote this book. on pages 209-211, he writes about “wearable media”. The first examples that he gives are “computing corduroy, memory muslin, and solar silk might be the literal fabric of tomorrow’s digital dress” (209).He starts the next sentence with an actual fact of today’s time, “The wristwatch is the most obvious. It is certain to migrate from a mere timepiece today to a mobile-command-and-control center tomorrow. It is worn so naturally that many people sleep with it on” (210). This statement has never been any more true. Most people have an Apple watch which pairs to their IPhone. According to Nate Ralph,”What does the Apple Watch do that the iPhone doesn’t? Not much, yet” told us that everything you do with your phone can already be done by your phone. His words were “You can call, text and even send quick notes straight from the phone to anyone in your contact list” (Ralph).

The Apple Watch vs the Apple iPhone

Apple Watch Apple iPhone
Answer Calls Yes Yes
Send and recieve Messages Yes Yes
Recieve Notifications Yes Yes
FaceTime calling No Yes
Cellular connectivty No Yes
Hotspot No Yes
Make payments with Apple Pay Yes Yes
Fitness tracking Yes Yes
Take Photos No Yes

It seems as though while Negroponte looked into the future. He did not look ahead quite enough. The watches are exactly like the phone. However, this is in contrast to some of the Samsung smartwatches. Nate tells us:

“This symbiotic relationship means that, like most smartwatches, an Apple Watch without an iPhone is little more than an expensive digital timepiece; there’s little that the Apple Watch can do that your phone isn’t doing already. And some smartwatches go a bit further — the Samsung Gear S packs a cellular radio, and the Sony Smartwatch 3 has a built-in GPS. In both cases you can leave your phone behind and still get some functionality out of your device.”

This shows that Android is progressing further than Apple when it comes to their smartwatches. Maybe Negroponte was right after all, maybe one day, we will actually have a belt that collects solar power and can charge our phones.


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