Wearable Technology: Darth Vader or Dick Tracy?

The whole issue of “wearable technology” has been around a long time, but it’s starting to become a hot topic with advancements like Google Glass and Fitbit. So over at The High Calling, Marcus Goodyear is asking, “Does it matter if people see technology before they see each other?”

Forget about the big TVs. The new wearable technologies are cause for serious reflection. Let’s consider the two biggest moves into Wearable tech: Google Glass and smart watches.

Darth Vader wore his technology like a mask, like Google Glass or iOptik contact lenses, but the technology on his face is not what made him evil. Dick Tracy wore something like a smart watch, but he also wore a yellow trench coat and a striped tie.

In other words, Darth Vader’s technology is not what led him to the dark side, even if the simple black and white world of Star Wars wants us to believe that. He didn’t have a technology problem. He had an anger problem. For evidence, look at all of the good guys in Star Wars. Luke has a robotic hand. He also flew a fancy X-wing space ship and carried a light saber (the weirdest backwards technology ever conceived). His most loyal sidekicks—R2D2 and C3PO—were 100% technology.

And that’s okay. Wearing technology on your face doesn’t mean you are more likely to become a villain. Having a robotic hand doesn’t either.

On the flipside, Dick Tracy’s watch doesn’t make him a hero any more than his yellow coat makes him a hero.

Read the whole thing here. What do you think?

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  • Rage against The Machine.

    • Jacques Ellul (1954) “The Technological Society”
    • Lewis Mumford (1967) “The Myth of the Machine: Technics and Human Development”
    • Ivan Illich (1995) “Blasphemy: A Radical Critique of Our Technological Culture”
    • Alf Hornborg (2001) “The Power of the Machine: Global Inequalities of Economy, Technology, and Environment”