Wearable devices & human cyborgs; Rockford area expert weighs in - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Wearable devices & human cyborgs; Rockford area expert weighs in on future of technology

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Technology that moves at the speed of you-- we're talking about wearable gadgets, the latest creations by major tech companies. One Rockford area expert says there's a lot more to come.

"The advancements are rapid. Aggressively rapid," says Northern Illinois University Professor David Gunkel.

In this day and age, titans of technology; companies like Apple and Google are constantly coming up with the newest, latest items. What's trending right now in the tech world? Wearable devices.

"The 'wearables' are going to take that technology and put it on your body, so the display will be built into your eyeglasses or a set of contacts that you wear," Gunkel explains.

Gunkel says so-called "wearables" are just the beginning. If you think those gadgets are high-tech, here's another notion to wrap your mind around-- by the year 2030 experts predict that humans will become the devices.

"This is not science fiction, people are developing it now; direct implants. We'll tap into our brains, download information into our minds and display data into our optical nerve without having to wear anything on our bodies, it'll be done by implants in the body."

Across the globe groups are studying this kind of innovation, agencies like the U.S. Department of Defense.

"Because, obviously access to data is crucial for a fighting force. Stopping to open your laptop to look up information is a step in the process that could be a matter of life and death," Gunkel says.

For those of us not on the front lines, the idea behind this technology is to keep advancing, making life more convenient; notions that could always come with mixed reviews.

"It's both a frightening image and potentially liberating image. There are people who have celebrated this as a new opportunity for the human species."

Gunkel says one of the most recent high-tech developments is Google Glass. That device is currently being tested by consumers.

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