The Digital Life: Smart Clothing, Drone Regs, and Apple's Electric Car

by Jon Follett

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Digital Life we discuss recent news in emerging technology. Big fashion houses and experimental designers alike are flocking to smart clothing as the latest expression of wearable technology. Sensors combined with online connectivity, are enabling information flow directly from our clothing — whether it's measuring heart rate for sport, flexibility for rehabilitation, or Tweets for fun. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed new regulations for commercial drone flights. And Apple might be taking on Tesla and General Motors by venturing into one of the most complex product areas: the electric car. Join us as we dig into these topics from a UX and design perspective.

Here are a few quotes from this week's discussion.

Jon on integrated technology in smart clothing:
How much nicer would it be if some of that functionality is just integrated into the fabric of your clothing and it’s no longer such a separate object but is really part of your style, right? For me it would be wonderful if I just had a phone somehow embedded into my shirt or a hat or something and I didn’t have to quite root around in my pocket and pull out the phone and sort of fumble with it. That seems … I mean it would be very nice to get a little voice prompt, “Hey, Dirk is calling,” and I can say, “OK, accept the call,” and just talk to you through my hat or through my shirt. I love this idea of integration.

Dirk on Apple as a potential car company:
It raises really interesting questions about what the biggest most powerful business conglomerates are going to look like in 20 or 30 years. If Google is correct, then the top tech companies, the Google, the Apple, Amazon, companies like that are going to be in the transportation business. I’m not sure yet if that will be the case. I think it’s very possible.

Apple, because they have so much cash, they need to, in trying to keep up with Google, be involved in that business. They need to be paying attention to it, they need to be making investments. They don’t have a choice, because if things fall in a certain way, and if they’re the ones on the outside looking in, it won’t be pretty for them. Now Apple has so much money, they’re in a position where in theory they could pass on it and things could move forward and they could be left behind and they could just go out and buy General Motors or some major automotive company and close the gap and get back in the game. They have that luxury.

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Topics: Podcast