excerpts from ISSCC 2000 conference where the invention was presented
ISSCC: 'Dick Tracy' watch watchers disagree
By Peter Clarke
(02/08/00, 9:12 p.m. EST)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Panelists at a Monday evening (Feb. 7) panel session
at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) here
failed to agree on when the public will be able to buy a "Dick Tracy"
style watch for Christmas, with estimates ranging from almost
immediately to not within the next decade.
Steve Mann, a professor at the University of Toronto, was hailed as
the father of the wearable computer and the ISSCC's first virtual
panelist, by moderator Woodward Yang of Harvard University (Cambridge
Not surprisingly, Mann was generally upbeat at least about the
technical possibilities of distributed body-worn computing, showing
that he had already developed a combination wristwatch and imaging
device that can send and receive video over short distances.
Meanwhile, in the debate from the floor that followed the panel
discussion, ideas were thrown up, such as shoes as a mobile phone --
powered by the mechanical energy of walking, and using the Dick Tracy
watch as the user interface -- and a more distributed model where
spectacles are used to provide the visual interface; an ear piece to
provide audio; and even clothing to provide a key-pad or display.