- Great Painters
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
- Concept Cars
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Adobe Reader
  2. Adware
  3. Altavista
  4. AOL
  5. Apple Macintosh
  6. Application software
  7. Arrow key
  8. Artificial Intelligence
  9. ASCII
  10. Assembly language
  11. Automatic translation
  12. Avatar
  13. Babylon
  14. Bandwidth
  15. Bit
  16. BitTorrent
  17. Black hat
  18. Blog
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Bulletin board system
  21. Byte
  22. Cache memory
  23. Celeron
  24. Central processing unit
  25. Chat room
  26. Client
  27. Command line interface
  28. Compiler
  29. Computer
  30. Computer bus
  31. Computer card
  32. Computer display
  33. Computer file
  34. Computer games
  35. Computer graphics
  36. Computer hardware
  37. Computer keyboard
  38. Computer networking
  39. Computer printer
  40. Computer program
  41. Computer programmer
  42. Computer science
  43. Computer security
  44. Computer software
  45. Computer storage
  46. Computer system
  47. Computer terminal
  48. Computer virus
  49. Computing
  50. Conference call
  51. Context menu
  52. Creative commons
  53. Creative Commons License
  54. Creative Technology
  55. Cursor
  56. Data
  57. Database
  58. Data storage device
  59. Debuggers
  60. Demo
  61. Desktop computer
  62. Digital divide
  63. Discussion groups
  64. DNS server
  65. Domain name
  66. DOS
  67. Download
  68. Download manager
  69. DVD-ROM
  70. DVD-RW
  71. E-mail
  72. E-mail spam
  73. File Transfer Protocol
  74. Firewall
  75. Firmware
  76. Flash memory
  77. Floppy disk drive
  78. GNU
  79. GNU General Public License
  80. GNU Project
  81. Google
  82. Google AdWords
  83. Google bomb
  84. Graphics
  85. Graphics card
  86. Hacker
  87. Hacker culture
  88. Hard disk
  89. High-level programming language
  90. Home computer
  91. HTML
  92. Hyperlink
  93. IBM
  94. Image processing
  95. Image scanner
  96. Instant messaging
  97. Instruction
  98. Intel
  99. Intel Core 2
  100. Interface
  101. Internet
  102. Internet bot
  103. Internet Explorer
  104. Internet protocols
  105. Internet service provider
  106. Interoperability
  107. IP addresses
  108. IPod
  109. Joystick
  110. JPEG
  111. Keyword
  112. Laptop computer
  113. Linux
  114. Linux kernel
  115. Liquid crystal display
  116. List of file formats
  117. List of Google products
  118. Local area network
  119. Logitech
  120. Machine language
  121. Mac OS X
  122. Macromedia Flash
  123. Mainframe computer
  124. Malware
  125. Media center
  126. Media player
  127. Megabyte
  128. Microsoft
  129. Microsoft Windows
  130. Microsoft Word
  131. Mirror site
  132. Modem
  133. Motherboard
  134. Mouse
  135. Mouse pad
  136. Mozilla Firefox
  137. Mp3
  138. MPEG
  139. MPEG-4
  140. Multimedia
  141. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  142. Netscape
  143. Network card
  144. News ticker
  145. Office suite
  146. Online auction
  147. Online chat
  148. Open Directory Project
  149. Open source
  150. Open source software
  151. Opera
  152. Operating system
  153. Optical character recognition
  154. Optical disc
  155. output
  156. PageRank
  157. Password
  158. Pay-per-click
  159. PC speaker
  160. Peer-to-peer
  161. Pentium
  162. Peripheral
  163. Personal computer
  164. Personal digital assistant
  165. Phishing
  166. Pirated software
  167. Podcasting
  168. Pointing device
  169. POP3
  170. Programming language
  171. QuickTime
  172. Random access memory
  173. Routers
  174. Safari
  175. Scalability
  176. Scrollbar
  177. Scrolling
  178. Scroll wheel
  179. Search engine
  180. Security cracking
  181. Server
  182. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  183. Skype
  184. Social software
  185. Software bug
  186. Software cracker
  187. Software library
  188. Software utility
  189. Solaris Operating Environment
  190. Sound Blaster
  191. Soundcard
  192. Spam
  193. Spamdexing
  194. Spam in blogs
  195. Speech recognition
  196. Spoofing attack
  197. Spreadsheet
  198. Spyware
  199. Streaming media
  200. Supercomputer
  201. Tablet computer
  202. Telecommunications
  203. Text messaging
  204. Trackball
  205. Trojan horse
  206. TV card
  207. Unicode
  208. Uniform Resource Identifier
  209. Unix
  210. URL redirection
  211. USB flash drive
  212. USB port
  213. User interface
  214. Vlog
  215. Voice over IP
  216. Warez
  217. Wearable computer
  218. Web application
  219. Web banner
  220. Web browser
  221. Web crawler
  222. Web directories
  223. Web indexing
  224. Webmail
  225. Web page
  226. Website
  227. Wiki
  228. Wikipedia
  229. WIMP
  230. Windows CE
  231. Windows key
  232. Windows Media Player
  233. Windows Vista
  234. Word processor
  235. World Wide Web
  236. Worm
  237. XML
  238. X Window System
  239. Yahoo
  240. Zombie computer

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Wearable computer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Wearable computers are computers that are worn on the body. They have been applied to areas such as behavioral modeling, health monitoring systems, information technologies and media development. Government organizations, military, and health professionals have all incorporated wearable computers into their daily operations. Wearable computers are especially useful for applications that require computational support while the user's hands, voice, eyes or attention are actively engaged with the physical environment.

Wristwatch videoconferencing system running GNU Linux, later featured in Linux Journal and presented at ISSCC2000
Wristwatch videoconferencing system running GNU Linux, later featured in Linux Journal and presented at ISSCC2000

One of the main features of a wearable computer is consistency. There is a constant interaction between the computer and user, ie. there is no need to turn the device on or off. Another feature is the ability to multi-task. It is not necessary to stop what you are doing to use the device; it is augmented into all other actions. These devices can be incorporated by the user to act like a prosthetic. It can therefore be an extension of the userís mind and/or body.

Such devices look far different from the traditional cyborg image of wearable computers, but in fact these devices are becoming more powerful and more wearable all the time. The most extensive military program in the wearables arena is the US Army's Land Warrior system, which will eventually be merged into the Future Force Warrior system.


Depending on how broadly one defines both wearable and computer, the first wearable computer could be as early as the 1500s with the invention of the pocket watch or even the 1200s with the invention of eyeglasses. The first device that would fit the modern-day image of a wearable computer was constructed in 1961 by the mathematician Edward O. Thorp, better known as the inventor of the theory of card-counting for blackjack, and Claude E. Shannon, who is best known as "the father of information theory." The system was a concealed cigarette-pack sized analog computer designed to predict roulette wheels. A data-taker would use microswitches hidden in his shoes to indicate the speed of the roulette wheel, and the computer would indicate an octant to bet on by sending musical tones via radio to a miniature speaker hidden in a collaborators ear canal. The system was successfully tested in Las Vegas in June 1961, but hardware issues with the speaker wires prevented them from using it beyond their test runs. Their wearable was kept secret until it was first mentioned in Thorp's book Beat the Dealer (revised ed.) in 1966 and later published in detail in 1969. The 1970s saw rise to similar roulette-prediction wearable computers using next-generation technology, in particular a group known as Eudaemonic Enterprises that used a CMOS 6502 microprocessor with 5K RAM to create a shoe-computer with inductive radio communications between a data-taker and better (Bass 1985).

In 1967, Hubert Upton developed an analogue wearable computer that included an eyeglass-mounted display to aid lip reading. Using high and low-pass filters, the system would determine if a spoken phoneme was a fricative, stop consonant, voiced-fricative, voiced stop consonant, or simply voiced. An LED mounted on ordinary eyeglasses illuminated to indicate the phoneme type. The 1980s saw the rise of more general-purpose wearable computers. In 1981 Steve Mann designed and built a backpack-mounted 6502-based computer to control flash-bulbs, cameras and other photographic systems. Mann went on to be an early and active researcher in the wearables field, especially known for his 1994 creation of the Wearable Wireless Webcam (Mann 1997). In 1989 Reflection Technology marketed the Private Eye head-mounted display, which scanned a vertical array of LEDs across the visual field using a vibrating mirror. 1993 also saw Columbia University's augmented-reality system known as KARMA: Knowledge-based Augmented Reality for Maintenance Assistance. Users would wear a Private Eye display over one eye, giving an overlay effect when the real world was viewed with both eyes open. KARMA would overlay wireframe schematics and maintenance instructions on top of whatever was being repaired. For example, graphical wireframes on top of a laser printer would explain how to change the paper tray. The system used sensors attached to objects in the physical world to determine their locations, and the entire system ran tethered from a desktop computer (Feiner 1993).

Commercial viability

The commercialization of general-purpose wearable computers, as led by companies such as Xybernaut, CDI and ViA Inc, has thus far met with limited success. Publicly-traded Xybernaut tried forging alliances with companies such as IBM and Sony in order to make wearable computing widely available, but in 2005 their stock was delisted and the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid financial scandal and federal investigation. In 1998 Seiko marketed the Ruputer, a computer in a (fairly large) wristwatch, to mediocre returns. In 2001 IBM developed and publicly displayed two prototypes for a wristwatch computer running Linux, but the product never came to market. In 2002 Fossil, Inc. announced the Fossil Wrist PDA, which ran the Palm OS. Its release date was set for summer of 2003, but was delayed several times and was finally made available on January 5, 2005.

Evidence of the allure of the wearable computer and the weak market acceptance is evident with market leading Panasonic Computer Solutions Company's failed product in this market. Panasonic has specialized in mobile computing with their Toughbook line for over 10 years and has extensive market research into the field of portable, wearable computing products [1]. In 2002, Panasonic introduced a wearable brick computer coupled with a handheld or armworn touchscreen. The brick would communicate wirelessly to the screen, and concurrently the brick would communicate wirelessly out to the internet or other networks. The products were named the Toughbook 07 and the MDWD. According to a spokesmen at Panasonic US Distributer USAT Corp., the Toughbook 07 brick computer never gained market traction as it was hampered by a relatively slow ultra-low voltage processor. The wearable brick was quietly pulled from the market in 2005, while the screen evolved to a thin client touchscreen used with a handstrap. This product, the Toughbook 08 is larger and less likely to be worn on the body, and provides only for mechanical data entry (touchscreen, barcode, or card swipe). This thin-client approach does suggest a commercially viable solution to the combined problems of size, processing power and battery life for wearable computers.

In fiction

  • In Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, a minority of people known as "gargoyles" wear computers for information gathering.
  • In the manga and anime Dragon Ball series, the Scouter is a Head-mounted display worn over one eye to determine the relative strength of combatants.
  • In the 2004 Robin Williams film The Final Cut an implant called a 'Zoe' chip was placed into new-born infants so that their entire lives would be recorded and could be replayed after their death.
  • In the 2006 Vernor Vinge novel Rainbows End wearable computing is ubiquitous and privacy as we know it is gone.
  • Cookie from Ned's Declassified has one. The screen is in his glasses, the mouse in his hand, and a printer in his back pocket.
  • In the movie The Tuxedo Jackie Chan is using a state-of-the-art spy suit with an advanced wearable computer and electronics.

See also

  • calculator watch
  • EyeTap
  • Head-mounted display
  • Head-up display
  • Laptop
  • Personal digital assistant
  • Tablet PC
  • Virtual retinal display


  1. ^ USAT Corp.'s Keith McRae cites numerous studies Panasonic has commissioned from independent labs such as SRI group
  • Edward O. Thorp, The invention of the first wearable computer, in The Second International Symposium on Wearable Computers: Digest of Papers, IEEE Computer Society, 1998, pp. 4-8.
  • Edward O. Thorp, Beat the Dealer, 2nd Edition, Vintage, New York, 1966. ISBN 0-394-70310-3
  • Edward O. Thorp, "Optimal gambling systems for favorable game,." Review of the International Statistical Institute, V. 37:3, 1969, pp. 273-293.
  • T.A. Bass, The Eudaemonic Pie, Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1985.
  • Hubert Upton, "Wearable Eyeglass Speechreading Aid," American Annals of the Deaf, V113, 2 March 1968, pp. 222-229. (previously presented at Conference on Speech-Analyzing Aids for the Deaf, June 14-17, 1967.
  • C.C. Collins, L.A. Scadden, and A.B. Alden, "Mobile Studies whith a Tactile Imaging Device," Fourth Conference on Systems & Devices For The Disabled, June 1-3, 1977, Seattle WA.
  • Andre F. Marion, Edward A. Heinsen, Robert Chin, and Bennie E. Helmso, wrist instrument Opens New Dimension in Personal Information."Wrist instrument opens new dimension in personal information", Hewlett-Packard Journal, December 1977. See also HP-01 wrist instrument, 1977
  • Steve Mann, "An historical account of the 'WearComp' and 'WearCam' inventions developed for applications in 'Personal Imaging,'" in The First International Symposium on Wearable Computers: Digest of Papers, IEEE Computer Society, 1997, pp. 66-73.
  • The Winnebiko II and Maggie
  • J. Peter Bade, G.Q. Maguire Jr., and David F. Bantz, The IBM/Columbia Student Electronic Notebook Project, IBM, T. J. Watson Research Lab., Yorktown Heights, NY, 29 June 1990. (The work was first shown at the DARPA Workshop on Personal Computer Systems, Washington, D.C., 18 January 1990.)
  • [1]
  • Lizzy: MIT's Wearable Computer Design 2.0.5
  • Steve Feiner, Bruce MacIntyre, and Doree Seligmann, "Knowledge-based augmented reality," in Communications of the ACM, 36(7), July 1993, 52-62. See also the KARMA webpage.
  • Edgar Matias, I. Scott MacKenzie, and William Buxton, "Half-QWERTY: Typing with one hand using your two-handed skills," Companion of the CHI '94 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, 1994, pp. 51-52.
  • Edgar Matias, I.Scott MacKenzie and William Buxton, "A Wearable Computer for Use in Microgravity Space and Other Non-Desktop Environments," Companion of the CHI '96 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, 1996, pp. 69-70.
  • E.C. Urban, Kathleen Griggs, Dick Martin, Dan Siewiorek and Tom Blackadar, Proceedings of Wearables in 2005, Arlington, VA, July 18-19, 1996.
  • Mik Lamming and Mike Flynn, "'Forget-me-not' Intimate Computing in Support of Human Memory" in Proceedings FRIEND21 Symposium on Next Generation Human Interfaces, 1994.

External links

  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland - Wearable Computing Lab
  • University of South Australia Wearable Computer Lab
  • UCLA Embedded Reconfigurable Systems Research Lab (ERLAB)
  • Eyetap Personal Imaging (ePI) Lab
  • Eleksen Plc:- World leader in smart fabrics
  • Georgia Tech College of Computing wearables group
  • MIT Media Lab wearables group
  • CMU wearables group
  • Andy Felong's wearable computing resource
  • Artificial Intelligence in Wearable Computing (Special Issue in IEEE Intelligent Systems)
  • Worldwide Wearable Computing Webpage
  • The theory of Humanistic Intelligence
  • Visual Memory Prosthetic (Wearable Face Recognizer)
  • Wearable Face Recognizer web link
  • Wearable Computing for the Blind (cross-modal vision)
  • IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers (Academic Conference)
  • TransVision 2004
  • Continuous Archival and Retrieval of Personal Experiences.
  • International Workshop on Inverse Surveillance.
  • WearIT@work: a large European research project on wearable computing at work.
  • Project iWear: a project developing a framework to enhance wearable development
  • IBM Almaden Research Center's half-keyboard belt computer
  • A brief history of wearable computing
  • The Tummy PC: A Practical Wearable Computer
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