Thad Starner started to develop wearable technology in 1993. He started by wearing an apparatus inspired by The Terminator that let him see a computer screen and the physical world in front of him at the same time. He told NPR’s Invisibilia that he only takes his wearable tech off to sleep and take showers. But now, over two decades later, Starner’s a leading developer at Google Glass.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to make friends with a computer on your face, but a lot of upcoming tech geniuses started getting interested in the wearables early on at Starner’s school MIT and elsewhere.
In 1998, Starner met Larry Page and Serey Brin, two students at Stanford who would later become the dudes who co-founded some Podunk company called Google. After letting the founders try on the tech, he collected their phone numbers and email addresses, but the threee of them lost touch until 2008, when Starner tried to get in touch with them again. He sent an email telling the Google guys that wearable technology was getting more interesting and offered them a tour of his wearable tech lab.
But Starner didn’t know that Google founders had decided over a month earlier to make a serious move in wearable tech, starting with glasses. Google Glass didn’t take off as big as it was expected to (it’s production was halted last month), but it’s just a matter of time until the idea develops into its next phase, everyone wears them, they fuse into our brains, and we all become one borg entity.