Wearable Tech Is Nearing Nanosuit Proportions

Illustration for article titled Wearable Tech Is Nearing Nanosuit Proportions

If you've ever found yourself ambling through, say, a TED talk on cyberbiology or just happened on the work of noted-futurist-slash-crazy-brilliant-person Ray Kurzweil at any point, you might've wondered, "Hey, aren't we cyborgs yet? Come on, I wanna shoot lasers at things."


We understand your impatience. And the truth is, we're not all that far off. Take the Nanosuit of Crysis 3 fame, for instance. Building on dreams of powered exoskeleton technology, the Nanosuit is a fully-imagined bio-armor, equipped with a cloaking device and its own arsenal of both human and alien technology. Everything your posthuman self could ever dream of.

We haven't quite reached a world of truly digitally-enhanced bodies yet, but we do have wearable technology that was the stuff of science fiction not long ago. And it's advancing at light speed.


Ever we watched some daredevils film their descent onto the Google I/O stage with their freaking eyewear, Google Glass has become the de rigueur example of where computing is going: right onto your face. Glass, right now, is essentially a wearable smartphone that you control with your eyes and voice. What you see is what you share with the rest of the world. I can't wait until we'll be able to download our consciousness into the hivemind.

The Oculus Rift VR headset, on the other hand, does pretty much the opposite of what Glass does: it immerses you in the virtual. Virtual worlds have been a fascination for decades, and the Rift has real potential for pulling it off, able to ensconce a player in fully-rendered 3D worlds. Imagine looking up and seeing only digital sky — that's what I mean. Having enjoyed a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, it's now being implemented in 3D platformers, shooters, and even erotica. Because, obviously.


We haven't quite reached the point in neuroscience where we can enhance brainwaves to superhuman, nay, godlike levels a la Cerebra in X-Men. However, we can read them and use that information for cool things.


The Muse, developed by Toronto-based company InteraXon, is a simple headband that reads your brain's focused and relaxed states. Using two sensors on the forehead and two behind each ear, the device relays information about your mind to your smartphone or tablet, where you can use that data to develop your concentration or work on relaxation techniques. Science!

Meanwhile, the Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears are...well, they're cat ears. But they work on the same principle as the Muse, just in a more visual, cosplay-y way. Utilizing its own sensors on the forehead and left ear, the ears will playfully respond to your mental state, flopping down when you're relaxed and pinning up when you're alert. They're excellent for Halloween parties.



Wearable tech associated with fitness and wellbeing has become a crowded category as of late. The Fitbit One is one example, but it stands as the best in its class. It'll track steps taken and calories burned, and its unique altimeter is able to detect when you're taking stairs or running up an incline. You can even place it in a wristband when you go to bed, and it'll keep track of the quality of your sleep.


Meanwhile, Under Armour's Armour39 sensor promises to take fitness tracking to a whole other level. Looking kind of like the Arc Reactor in Tony Stark's chest, the device resembles Under Armour's E39, but without the compression shirt attached. The device promises to measure your entire body's performance, everything from heart rate to g-force acceleration. This is about as complete a fitness solution as you'll find.

Kicking Ass

Well, we've looked at the real-world stuff. But how much further can we go?

With Iron Man 3 on its way, how can we forget...Iron Man? Tony Stark has long been wearing super suits of armor, but there was also a time when his suit was a part of his body. With the Bleeding Edge armor, Tony developed the ability to manifest his suit with a single thought. (Talk about being more than human.)


But if we lived in the world of Crysis 3, you'd definitely want a Nanosuit. Billed as the greatest tactical combat machine the world has ever known, wearing it turns you into a living weapon. Which is good when you're up against alien hordes and shadowy military corporations. Just saying.

The suit is armed with three modes for combat: Armor mode for protection; Cloak mode for stealth and invisibility; and Power mode for speed. You also get your tools of the trade in the form of a Predator Bow, the alien Cell Plasma Gun, and the Typhoon, the best weapon mankind has to offer. With that suit on, you're just shy of unstoppable. So have fun!


Welcome to the future! EA's Crysis 3 hits stores today, February 19. But, as you head into the Seven Wonders of the New York City Liberty Dome to face off against the horrors of CELL, remember this: it's just you and the suit. And you're more than ready.

Kwame Opam is a tech writer and content producer for Studio@Gawker.