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Wearable computer

A wearable computer is a small portable computer that can be carried by a single person and used during other activities. The ideal is to approach a user interface that augments non-computer activities without interfering with the user's normal body positioning, movement, attention and balance. Rather than following the basic design of desktop computers, they extend the basic design of the watch, "Walkman" style portable stereo[?], cell phone or cordless phone[?] with headset[?], which leave the user's hands free.

Wearables typically have some small head-mounted display device, an input device that can be operated with one hand such as a chord keyboard, some voice command or at least recording capacity, and a processing unit and power supply attached to a belt or backpack. They are usually powered by batteries or fuel cells, but some models may use solar power, or even some device to tap the mechanical power of the wearer.

Steve Mann's wearcomp[?] has other properties such as operational constancy (the property that the computer is always on and ready for use).

The United States Army plans to issue 10,000 wearable computers to its combat troops in the next few years. They have approved a robust design that will supposedly be immune to weather, temperature, and vibration extremes. It consists of two belt-hung modules for power and processing, and an interface integrated with the regular combat helmet.

See also Personal digital assistant, laptop

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