Thad Stanner, Google’s former tech lead on Glass, has an awesomely insightful essay in Wired about how bringing technology closer to your body makes it less obtrusive and more useful. In the process, he reveals some of the thinking behind the design of Glass — and how much thought went into designing a product that would be less creepy and less alienating for civilians.
… [M]aking the interface more socially transparent became a goal. I’ll use Glass, which has been my most recent experience, to illustrate. Take the display. We decided to mount the display high so that there would be no barrier to eye contact. Even if the user bends her head down and looks through the display, her eyes can still be seen. When the display is on, both the user and her conversational partners can see it. This design makes clear when the device is in use.
Stanner also makes an extensive case for wearables being less interruptive of people’s normal lives than cellphones are. A typical cellphone interaction takes about 20 seconds, he says, including time to dig it out, unlock it, launch the right app, and do whatever it is you need to do. A wearable device eliminates most of that time, as its omnipresent and more responsive.
This is a great article. Read it and clip it in your Evernote.