Imagine walking down the street wearing a heads-up display that occupies nearly half of your face. Or how about strapping a smartwatch to your wrist that's nearly as large as your smartphone? While wearable computing has come a long way in certain respects, it's clear that some gadget makers still haven't found the right design. Here's a look at the ugliest wearable devices of all-time.
And you thought Google Glass made you look like a cyborg? In 2002 Xybernaut and Hitachi launched their own $1,500 head-mounted display that ran Windows CE. Not only was the headset riddled with wires, but the head-mounted 800 x 600 display came with too many pieces to comfortably carry around. Needless to say, the Xybernaut Poma never caught on.
One of Samsung's first attempts at a smartwatch looks exactly like its phones did in the early 2000s-- bulky, silver and thick. While the SPH-WH10 was impressive for its time considering it could make phone calls, its design left something to be desired.
The Neptune Pine isn't a watch-- it's a budget phone for your wrist. And yes, it looks exactly as awkward as it sounds. The $335 Pine's gargantuan 2.5-inch color touchscreen screams for attention when it rests on your wrist. Thankfully its cumbersome frame is matched with an equally large feature set, such as the ability to connect to Wi-Fi and act independently of your phone, but that doesn't justify its herculean size.
Before there was the Nike Fuelband or Fitbit Force, there was the Garmin Forerunner 201. Released in 2004, the device was capable of measuring how far you've run-- that is, if the Forerunner's elongated face didn't prove too distracting during your workout.
Samsung took another stab at the smartwatch in 2013, and, sadly, it's not as attractive as we had hoped. The exposed screws visible on its watch face and the way its camera protrudes from its wristband make the watch look awkward and off-putting. With a steep $300 and compatibility that's limited to a handful of Samsung devices, this watch is unattractive in more ways than one.
Designed in partnership with Motorola, Kopin's Golden-i headset looks like something straight from a science fiction novel. Designed for industrial workers rather than the everyday user, it's clear Kopin and Motorola didn't have aesthetics in mind. The device is comprised of a display module that sits in front of your face attached to a headband and an earpiece--making for a cumbersome overall design.
No, that's not Geordi La Forge from the U.S.S. Enterprise; it's a model showcasing Microvision's Nomad Personal Display System. Announced in 2004, the wearable display was capable of overlaying red SVGA images onto the world around you, but it's designed for service technician workers. Still, even in the industrial field, the $4,000 head-mounted computer never caught on and was discontinued by 2006.