The Future of (Futuring About) Wearable Tech

I was planning to write this text much earlier, soon after I finished my short ‘field report’ about the WoW gathering in Eindhoven. Alas, things started to move a bit slower on this side. Anyway, it is ready now, even if in a very condense form, so read (and look at it) below.

As I wrote earlier, I was offered an opportunity to talk about the ‘future of everything’: of women, fashion, and yes, {smart} wearables, too. The only real constrain was that 1. it should be very short and 2. it shouldn’t be a ‘slideshow’ but a real conversation (itself a gross challenge these days!)

Following our approach at Summ()n, I didn’t plan, of course, to present yet another set of ‘trends’ accompanied with a few freakish pictures (a common currency of future gurus these days). Instead I thought to suggest a conversation about the very way we do our futuring, i.e., thinking about, imagining and eventually making the futures that we want. Following the constrains, I decided to bring with me not the ‘digital slides’, but some real (analogue!) artefacts to talk about.

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Innovation practices in Google: Testing the futures – and doing it quickly!

This is one of slides from an excellent presentation by Patrick Copeland, head of innovation at Google; although the very title of the presentation is not particularly innovative (it goes as… Innovation at Google), the story is interesting, and also well presented. I can’t say that any of the points he talks about is also particularly new – i.e., “try to figure out what people *really* want as early as possible”, “test, iterate, get feedback, rinse, repeat”, “base you innovations on data rather than intuition” etc. But it is a very appealing story nevertheless, especially because it reveals, even if slightly, the inner kitchen of innovation in Google. In fact, I personally found more useful a couple of slides in the beginning, about different modes of innovation; I am currently preparing my own slides, about ‘people-driven’ innovation, and could use his slides as an example (of thinking, that is).