In this article today on Forbes, "The Future Of Wearable Tech Isn't Geeky Google Glass," the author argued that things like smart watches or Google Glass will not be popular because they are things that not all people wear. Smartphones have taken the place of watches. Not all people need glasses, so why would a person wear Google Glass?
There are some "bling flashers," think of the Fitbit wearer, whose flashing wristband displays their progress on step goals for the day. What the wearable tech folks need to focus on is increasing the status of the user, for using the device well.
With Google Glass, there is the creep factor - what exactly is that Google Glass person recording? If I saw a person wearing one, I'd wonder if they were tracking, lurking, recording, or stalking. Too many negatives for the collective population around the singular Glass wearer.
If we find that the wearable tech elevates a person's status within a population, for doing something good, they will FLAUNT IT. Purchasers of eco-friendly clothing wear the brands because it shows social good. People who wear the pink ribbon do so because it shows cancer concern.
So, what is the social goodness of wearable technology? Maybe a watch that displays your recycling savvy? For every bottle you recycle, every time you hit the cardboard recycle container, it flashes? I could see that being a coveted position on a college campus - maybe a wristband that increases in rainbow colors as the college students recycle? It would show who cares about the environment, and who doesn't. And, it helps a good cause. I'd love to see a campus trial, and how it would reduce landfills, increase awareness, and do so through positive social pressure.
Maybe a gym passes out wristbands that track activity in the gym, and have bleeping lights for more reps, or higher weights. Just like muscles are a sign of good fitness, blinking would be a sign of "doing the right thing."
Back to the college example - what about a key fob or purse charm that changes colors or gives points towards good student behaviors - time spent in the library, time in class, active writing (as sensed by a special note-taking pen), time attending lectures by visiting scholars, time in office hours, points awarded from professors for right answers in class.... gamifying the student experience leads to points and achievement levels for doing the right thing, and remaining at a low level for not engaging.... it's a fascinating topic, especially within the human experience. Peer pressure can be used for good or evil - here, it's definitely for good.
Wearable tech must have a social aspect to it. Too many people stare down at their phones, and become anti-social. Get them back into the population, using technology to show "doing the right thing."