The wearables I started wearing as a kid and still wear today are hearing aids—or, as my audiologist euphemistically calls them, “amplification devices.” Although many will never need hearing aids, today’s tech firms are making it likely that, someday soon, tiny computers will become extensions of your body, just as they have been part of mine for nearly 30 years. Thanks to that experience, I feel as though I’ve had a sneak peek into our wearable future—and I can make some predictions about what it will look like.
The influence of algorithms is nothing new. They shape a lot of what we perceive online. When used in wearable devices that shape our perceptions of the world around us, algorithms can have a profound impact. For example, a device that reads facial expressions to assess moods could affect how you approach your boss, or whether you think your significant other is mad at you. Or a device that hides stressful visual stimuli could remove an annoying ad on your subway commute, but it could just as easily remove a helpful PSA. As wearables do more to reshape our realities, the way we perceive the world will become increasingly shaped by the algorithms that govern those devices.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.