Thoughts about iWalk

Jeff Bone jbone@jump.net
Thu, 03 Jan 2002 15:27:52 -0600


Lucas Gonze wrote:

> > I wish somebody would get off their duff and make a reasonable
> > notepad.  I'm not going to replace my Palm with such a device, but I
> > might well replace my notebook.
>
> With the fabulous stowaway keyboard for a Palm, all you need is a small head
> mounted monitor.

I think wearables are a potentially huge thing a little further down the road,
but IMO that's a different category of beast from today's PDA (though while it's
not a replacement, it is perhaps a substitute.)  If you've got a reasonable HUD,
both UI design and range of useful applications are fundamentally different.
Why in the world would you want a Palmish UI designed for 160x160 blown up to an
apparent much larger size, superimposed on your field of vision?

Input is the other big constraint.  I've never really understood the need for a
Palm keyboard;  the handheld is a read-mostly device, unless you're actually
trying to use it as a computer replacement you'll do all your heavy input on
your desktop PIM.  Keyboards for wearables are an interesting thought, but IMO
to make it practical you're going to need chording, and there's going to be
adoption friction associated with that.  (NB, it's important to distinguish
between command-and-control input and data entry.  For the former, gestures,
speech, etc. seem ideally suited.  For the latter, again IMO, nothing's going to
beat the keyboard for a long time if ever.)

$0.02,

jb

Good wearables resource:  http://wearables.blu.org/