“Wearable Technology”, defined as portable devices like cell phones, cameras, etc… that are worn rather than carried, are on the verge of becoming mainstream and taking over the market within the next 2-3 years.
Google has been pushing the “Google Glass“, a glass that’s worn and that serves as a GPS, a video recorder, a camera and a lot more. Meanwhile Apple is getting ready to launch the Smart iWatch, a wrist worn device that is rumored to sync up with your iPhone, help access and run home automation and a host of other functions that are only rumors at this point.
What isn’t being discussed yet is how this “in your face” technology is going to affect safety. While more and more states and countries are banning the use of cell phones while driving, some of this technology doesn’t fit in any of the categories presently defined with regards to safely operating a vehicle or even, for that matter, walking down the street.
Ireland is, surprisingly, the first to start to look at banning the use of wearable technology while driving a vehicle.
As wearable technology becomes more and more common, new legislation is going to be needed as well as more studies to determine how it affects the wearer. What happens when the glasses you are wearing while driving suddenly start to flash at you that you’ve got a Facebook status update? How are we going to read the GPS readout in front of us on the lenses of the glasses we’re wearing while trying to navigate traffic? Do these wearable devices fall in the same category as texting while driving? How is law enforcement even going to be able to tell if these devices are in use?