As one of my coworkers said upon reading this article, it was only a matter of time...
While wearable computers are nothing new,
and I've even seen prototype systems from companies who paid employees
to walk around malls and shopping centers with LCD panels strapped to
their fronts and backs (I'm not kidding -- some were running our FireCast digital signage software),
this is the first time that I've seen a wearable digital billboard
pushed as a fashion accessory. Granted, I'm not surprised that it
was invented in the same land as the amazing Gameboy boots, which also have a (limited but amusing) potential for digital signage (though perhaps not under the captive audience network
model). Still, though, with so many people currently paying for
the privilege of advertising major brands like Nike, Old Navy, Gucci,
etc., I'm forced to wonder if the idea of using wearable digital signs
has a chance of taking off from a business perspective. The
technology isn' there yet, but it will be shortly. And if a
business model is found, somebody is going to exploit it.
Besides, what fashionable young teenager wouldn't want to draw
attention to themselves, pimp their favorite brands, play with cool
gadgets, and maybe even make a few bucks at the same time?