We’re big fans of Dean Kamen, the inventor who may be the Thomas Edison of our age. Besides inventing things life-altering devices like portable insulin pumps and robotic prosthetics, Kamen is the brains behind the Lego FIRST robotics challenge, an international grade-school robotics competition. He doesn’t give too many interviews, so when Kamen talks about innovation, you should listen.
Kamen sat down with SlashGear at the FIRST championships recently. He’s not quite dismissive of wearables, but he makes it clear that it’s not yet solving the kind of problems that he’s interested in:
“There’s a lot of gadgets that are fun, but I’m not sure that in the long-run they’ll be a whole lot different to hula-hoops and pet rocks. Fun.”
What would make them more interesting? Accuracy and reliability would go a long way to helping:
… [T]he risk of the device failing isn’t “oops, I’ll try again tomorrow, here’s your $29 back.””
“Real-time cardiac monitoring, real-time brain and seizure monitoring, real-time monitoring even of glucose and delivery of medicine. There are loads of technologies that, if they could be made simple and reliable, they would be very valuable if you could make them wearable, but so far there aren’t that many examples of that which work.”
It’s a great interview. Read it.