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Valve's Secret Project Exploring "Wearable Computing"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Google, Michael Abrash, Project Glass, Valve, Wearable computing

Valve's Secret Project Exploring "Wearable Computing"

Gadget hounds prepare for possible excitement. Valve are working on a super secret project that involves "wearable computing", and are actively looking into mobile technology so small that you can have it on/in/around your person at all times.

Temper that excitement with a modicum of restraint, though, as everything is still very much at the R&D stage.

“By wearable computing, I mean mobile computing where both computer-generated graphics and the real world are seamlessly overlaid in your view; there is no separate display that you hold in your hands (think Terminator vision),” Valve engineer Michael Abrash wrote. “The underlying trend as we’ve gone from desktops through laptops and notebooks to tablets is one of having computing available in more places, more of the time.

"The logical endpoint is computing everywhere, all the time - that is, wearable computing - and I have no doubt that 20 years from now that will be standard, probably through glasses or contacts, but for all I know through some kind of more direct neural connection. And I'm pretty confident that platform shift will happen a lot sooner than 20 years - almost certainly within 10, but quite likely as little as 3-5, because the key areas - input, processing/power/size, and output - that need to evolve to enable wearable computing are shaping up nicely, although there's a lot still to be figured out."

We're in! Where do we sign? How do we get our hands on this stuff? Can I become a Terminator? Will I be able to download shit into my brain directly? Will it help a man to satisfy his partner more successfully in the...wait...don't get too far ahead...it's still very much in the R&D stages.

"To be clear, this is R&D – it doesn’t in any way involve a product at this point, and won’t for a long while, if ever – so please, no rumors about Steam glasses being announced at E3," warned Abrash. "It’s an initial investigation into a very interesting and promising space, and falls more under the heading of research than development. The Valve approach is to do experiments and see what we learn – failure is fine, just so long as we can identify failure quickly, learn from it, and move on – and then apply it to the next experiment. The process is very fast-moving and iterative, and we’re just at the start. How far and where the investigation goes depends on what we learn."

Could this be Valve answer to Google's Project Glass? Well, it's impossible to say at this juncture. But that doesn't mean we can't start getting incredibly excited that incredibly intelligent people are beginning to explore this sort of technological territory.

Add a comment3 comments
DivideByZero  Apr. 16, 2012 at 12:36

"actively looking into mobile technology so small that you can have it on/in/around your person at all times."

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f2/Tamagotchi_0124_ubt.jpeg/220px-Tamagotchi_0124_ubt.jpeg

Again talks of downsizing "because the key areas - input, processing/power/size, and output - that need to evolve to enable wearable computing are shaping up nicely" and what that means is that early stuff will be pants and very low-fi. But it sounds cool anyway.

Manhunt 7 will be awesome...

jk12324  Apr. 16, 2012 at 14:07

Didn't Apple's CEO visit Valve recently?... ;)

hurrakan  Apr. 16, 2012 at 14:32

"Wearable tech" is so 90's. Valve shouldn't waste their time on outdated technology. I want cybernetic implants, or at least OLED tattoos:

http://phys.org/news/2010-10-flexible-implanting-skin.html

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