The ultimate reading, watching and listening list for the connected generation

Books, movies and playlists take on the past, present and future of wearable tech
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At some point in the next two weeks, you're going to get bored. And when you've taken your new fitness tracker, smartwatch or VR headset for a spin, don't just watch Master of None in its entirety for the third time, give our wearable tech, VR and smart home reading list a chance instead.

It's not strictly a reading list as lots of the entries can be watched or listened to. But the get the idea: bookmark this page for when you need inspiration on what to learn about over the holidays.

From long reads on the history of VR to listicles on smart home visions through the ages, we've got you covered.

Wearable tech

Read William Gibson's Neuromancer

This 1984 cyberpunk novel coined the term cyberspace and also introduced the world to a wearable display embedded in character Molly Millions' mirrored eye lenses which can transmit text messages from hackers.

In terms of implantables, the Neuromancer world is pretty dystopian but Gibson's book is namechecked by nearly everyone we've chatted to in the wearable tech industry. Gibson tried Google Glass in 2013 and "was faintly annoyed at just how interesting" he found it.

Neuromancer (1984) | Amazon

Watch Star Trek (obvs)

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Google built a Star Trek communicator then ditched it, the likes of Microsoft, The Void and VR headset makers are inching closer and closer to the Holodeck, the Star Trek universe's fictional VR facility. Try this if you want a super accessible entry into a sci-fi world that is directly responsible for some of the cool shit we get to play with now. Just maybe skip the episodes with the Holodeck malfunctions.

Star Trek: The Original Series Amazon

Read vintage Wired predictions

Some of the actual tech in Bill Wasik's feature is a little out of date now but the sentiment - Why Wearable Tech Will Be As Big As The Smartphone - still feels relevant despite the fact that it was published in December 2013, before this website even existed. Bluedouches, Trucker Hats and early wearable tech Kickstarter campaigns.

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Listen to our marathon playlist

Senior editor James Stables is one of our in-house marathon runners and he put together his ultimate Spotify marathon/running playlist. It's 4 hour 28 minutes long and kicks off with The Final Countdown. Need we say more.

See 2015's devices in action on Btekt's YouTube channel

You might have seen Btekt's hands on videos pop up on the site but it's worth heading over to Btekt's Wearable Tech playlist for more in-depth comparisons and reviews of this year's smartwatches. Shout out to Basil Kronfli who is an absolute voiceover demon.

The ultimate reading, watching and listening list for the connected generation

Read Ubik by Philip K. Dick

This 1969 sci-fi classic gives us an idea where wearable tech - and VR - might be headed in terms of paying attention to, and manipulating all our senses not just sight and sound. Its premise, involving a spray which can alter reality, was also the inspiration behind Jenny Tillotson's personalised scent bubble wearable eScent.

Catch up on wearable tech loving movies

We are really, truly helpful so not only have we compiled a list of the most iconic movie wearables ever, we've also taken the trouble to find 21 Star Wars wearables as well as turn our attentions to 007's finest connected kit. Plenty of holiday movie recommendations in these fine listicles.

Virtual reality

Read Ready Player One

The ultimate reading, watching and listening list for the connected generation

Can't wait till you can pre-order an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive? Short of buying a Gear VR to pass the time, try reading Ernest Cline's geeky 2011 pop culture meets sci-fi novel Ready Player One. The action takes place in a virtual world/MMORPG called OASIS (sound familiar?) and unsurprisingly, the Spielberg movie adaptation is set for 2017.

Ready Player One Kindle Edition | Amazon

Get nostalgic over cult classics

Or scratch your head that you haven't watched some of our pick of movies about VR yet. OK, OK, we know you've seen The Matrix but what about 2009's VR focused slasher Ghost Machine?

Read (part of) an oral history of VR

If you get to the end of The Verge's epic interview based history of VR, do let us know. One to dip in and out of if you fancy revisiting the Power Glove, say, or finding out why virtual reality never got off the ground the first time. It's talking head city but for once, these are the heads we owe for the current renaissance in VR. We salute you.

Also worth checking out (if you want a bit of a break) is our brief history of wearable gaming.

Watch/listen to Chris Milk sell VR

The one time music video maker turned VR pioneer and co-founder of VRSE talks about taking people places, not just showing them, empathy and changing minds. Don't forget to check out the rest of our round up of the best TED Talks on virtual reality plus our edit of TED Talks on wearable tech and the connected self as a whole (with embedded videos).

Smart home

Read this comic strip on smart fridges

The ultimate reading, watching and listening list for the connected generation

That's right, why not? How We Get To Next's short but sweet comic looks at the rise of the smart fridge from its humble beginnings in 1626 to the first Internet-enabled refrigerator in 1998.

Watch Her for home improvement ideas

Spike Jonze nails the flat of the near future in his wonderful 2013 love story Her with a huge video game space, an AI assistant, retro furniture and no cables to be seen.

Plus, watch the rest of our picks of the smart homes and apartments we're desperate to live in - from The Jetsons' pad to the kitchen in Back to the Future II.

Revisit the history of home automation with retro clips

Our tour of smart home visions of the past is quite the ride. From 1932's Alpha the Robot to Microsoft's 1999 Smart Home, take a look at these models of smart home excellence and ponder why we still haven't figured the whole damn thing out yet.

Dance in front of our smart party YouTube playlist

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We recently threw a properly smart party with music, lights and visuals all hooked up to provide the perfect atmosphere. If you have a big 4K TV taking up all the room in your lounge and want to put it to good use, stick our movie themed YouTube playlist on to give your guests some moves to copy.

Let us know what books, movies, articles and playlists we've missed in the comments below or via the Wareable Forum.

How we test


Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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