Wearable technology is primarily designed from an engineering perspective. We can choose between wearable bands or sleek watches with big faces that sync to a smartphone and collect health data. While the smart watch options are plenty, the fashion statements made with them are still slim, which begs the question, is wearable tech ‘beautiful?’
One third of wearable users stop using their device within 6 months. Until recently, there’s been a disconnect between tech and fashion. Designers are working to make wearables become part of your daily wardrobe so you don’t have to go out of your way to wear them.
Techies are also beginning to understand the importance of seamlessly integrating technology into chic-accessories. “If we’re going to get people to wear sensors, they either have to be gorgeous or invisible,” expressed Sonny Vu, Founder/CEO of Misfit Wearables at Rock Health Innovation Summit 2013.
Fashionistas saw a step in the right direction when Tory Burch launched accessories for the Fitbit Flex earlier in the spring and Withings’ analog wearable device named Activité, which is a beautifully crafted piece of simplicity that integrates with iOS.
The influx of fashion will bridge the gap between digital health and wearable technology. At the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) in September, models walked the runway on a triple high: high-heels, high-fashion, and high-tech.
Intel debuted the smart bracelet , a collaboration with Opening Ceremonies, at NYFW and announced its partnership with Fossil to produce wearable tech for fashion conscious consumers. While the technology behind the studded bracelet is still up for speculation, the company has been aligning itself with tech startups and fashion houses to make devices that monitor various data points including health. Earlier this summer, Intel acquired Basis Science, which makes up 7% of the wearable health tech market sector. Notably, Intel has also teamed up with Thalmic Labs and Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. With Intel’s recent friends in health tech and fashion, the chances of consumers wearing their devices look good.
How can we not revisit the excitement of NYFW? The unveiling of the Apple watch in terms of fashion made a huge splash with consumers. The Apple watch has high tech specs including a heart rate monitor, light sensors, and other applications capable of monitoring health data. The watch comes in two sizes, three makes, and has room for various wearing possibilities.
Fashion is personal, and so is the way you interact with your gadget. With the recent debuts of chic accessories for devices, consumers are more likely to actually integrate the device as an everyday essential. As we wrap up 2014, Google’s latest innovation brings digital health into everyday appliances. Bionic fashion is cool, and we’re betting that the New Year will bring in even sweeter gadgets.
After all, who doesn’t like to look good? We’re seeing the beginning of wearable devices for both the fashion and health conscious consumer. Two birds… one look!