Fallout is a warning from the oddball future of wearables

April 13, 2024
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When Fallout 4 came out with a full-scale Pip-Boy model, back in 2015, I’m deeply ashamed to remind you that we made Johnny Chiodini spend a week wearing it. How did it go? Oh my. Let’s just say this: over the course of that week the Pip-Boy got mould and also broke, but Johnny still had the worst half of the bargain.

What I’m even more ashamed to say is that, somehow, while my colleague was going through all that for our enjoyment and education, I had thoroughly missed the point that the Pip-Boy is just another piece of pointed satire in a game series that is full of the stuff. Anyway, this week I finally made the obvious connection – and not because of the fact that Fallout just became a TV series.

The thing that finally tipped me off was a review in the Verge of the new AI pin from Humane. It’s an AI-powered device that you clip to your top where, according to the Verge, it gets really hot and burns through battery while not doing very much. I love the Verge’s write-up because, like me, the writer is sort of besotted with wearables, even though wearables have so far turned out to be useless and silly. The idea is so brilliant and zany – a computer that you snap onto your clothes or your face! – that I dearly want it to work.

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