Google Glass may creep out some people, even prompting the creation of the word “glassholes” to describe its wearers, but wearable tech has a long and storied history. Mashable created an infographic to hit the high points through the years, in some instances prompting the question of whether necessity really is the mother of invention. In terms of modern tech equivalents, we can cite Edward O. Thorp as the “father of the wearable computer.” His design dates back to 1961 where he collaborated with Claude Shannon (also credited as the “the father of information theory”) to create a wearable computer to cheat at roulette. That wasn’t the last wearable gadget invented for the purpose of gaining an advantage at gambling either.
Fast forward to 2002 and we have an example of one of the worst (and most hilarious) gadgets foisted on unsuspecting early adopters. The Poma, or “personal multimedia appliance,” debuted at $1,500 and even featured “scaled down” office software and expansion slots to add a modem, portable hard drive or a special keyboard. Presumably it was progress back then to have face-mounted versions of your favorite Microsoft applications.