25 July 2013

Don Norman on the paradox of wearable technologies

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Can wearable devices augment our activities without distracting us from the real world, asks Don Norman in an article just published in the MIT Technology Review.

“In the end, wearable technologies will either be able to augment our experiences, and focus our attention on the task and the people with whom we are interacting, or they’ll distract us—diverting our attention through tasty morsels of information irrelevant to the current activity.

When technologies are used to supplement our activities, when the additional information being provided is of direct relevance, our attention can become more highly focused and our understanding and retention enhanced. When the additional information is off-target, no matter how enticing it is, that’s the distracting and disruptive side.”

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