Bearable Computing

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What Does Bearable Computing Mean?

Bearable computing is a term for the many different kinds of computing technologies that can be worn on the body, or carried about as implants or be otherwise temporarily or permanently installed in the body. This broad definition can include new wearable items like Google Glass, smart implants like sophisticated pacemakers or cochlear implants, or any other kind of technology that moves about with an individual. Bearable computing can be used in military development, consumer market research, and many other fields and industries.

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Techopedia Explains Bearable Computing

The detailed definition of bearable computing relies on semantics. People talk about wearable computing as devices that are worn on or in garments or accessories. That category typically doesn’t include implants. By contrast, bearable computing may include implants and embedded devices as well as wearable ones.

Bearable computing devices have many applications. They can help to supplement or replace the body’s natural senses, such as sight or sound. They can help with occupational or personal multitasking, as in the case of Bluetooth, which enables hands-free communications. Many applications of bearable computing involve chips or implants that a user doesn’t have to maintain over time or manipulate physically. Instead, these smart devices could provide real-time information on their own.

Another main practical application of bearable computing is in providing actionable information about the human body. The now common smart watches that are worn to collect vitals like heart rate and blood pressure are good examples of this. Certain kinds of implants also collect real-time information about vital signs.

While bearable computing devices can be used to simulate human senses, they can also be used to enhance them in many different ways. New classes of devices known as augmented reality devices can add additional visuals to a human field of vision, either as layers, or as a virtual field of vision. These types of technologies, evident in devices like Google Glass, can help to provide people with more information about their surroundings, or alternately, can use technologies like image processing to help them develop more information about what they are seeing.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.