Bejewelled banking: How wearable technology can combine fashion and financial services

Author: Grace Durie

How the digital finance app is a must-have accessory

There is one thing that, now that we are in January 2016, we know about wearable technology: Wearable Technology is not new, we have seen a range of innovations over the past few years, ranging from smart watches and rings to the ubiquitous fitbit and to the first iteration of Google Glass.

However, the wearables industry has not been resting on its laurels. Over the past year there have continued to be great innovations; but one of the main reasons that I have yet to invest in my own wearable, whether it be a watch or a pair of glasses, is aesthetics.

The designer Apple Watch and trackers that sparkle

For those of us who are looking for an equal amount of style and substance, the revolution began with Apple’s quiet announcement, in May 2014, that they had recruited Burberry’s Angela Ahrendt to their ranks, subtly changing how the technology world was starting to look at wearables. However it was not until towards the tail end of 2015 and heading into 2016, there has been a sudden leap of progress in the wearables space.

With the release of the Apple Watch, under Ahrendt’s supervision, we saw a move towards a more fashionable breed of wearable. Late last year saw the emergence of the Swarovski Shine, one of the world’s most sparkly fitness trackers, alongside items such as the Mira Range, displayed at CES 2016, which allows the wearer to receive notifications from their fitness app, straight onto a piece of delicate and stylish wearable tech.

So we have moved on from wearables being wholly functional, with fitness trackers currently the most likely to place fashion above function.

Combining fashion and secure functionality

I have, however, decided to set the bar high, I have chosen to invest in my own wearable, only when fashion and function truly combine. I live in hope that either Apple, who still retain the services of their ex-Burberry import as well as that of Paul Deneve, the former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, or one of the major Android houses, Google still have Ivy Ross, the fashion expert brought in to helm Google Glass, will produce great things.  

With the amount of fashion alumni, bringing their talent into the tech industry, it should only be a matter of time until I get my wish… Ultimately I would like to be able to use a piece of digital jewellery, as beautiful as it is practical, to check my bank balance, and pay for my tea when I’m out and about, or even transfer money to friends and family. With new iterations of The Apple Watch and Google Glass approaching, I think jewellery banking might be just around the corner.

Interested in digital techonology, mbanking and the future of financial services? Read more in our Opinion Piece How far can digital go? [PDF]

19 Jan 2016

Author: Grace Durie

How the digital finance app is a must-have accessory

There is one thing that, now that we are in January 2016, we know about wearable technology: Wearable Technology is not new, we have seen a range of innovations over the past few years, ranging from smart watches and rings to the ubiquitous fitbit and to the first iteration of Google Glass.

However, the wearables industry has not been resting on its laurels. Over the past year there have continued to be great innovations; but one of the main reasons that I have yet to invest in my own wearable, whether it be a watch or a pair of glasses, is aesthetics.

The designer Apple Watch and trackers that sparkle

For those of us who are looking for an equal amount of style and substance, the revolution began with Apple’s quiet announcement, in May 2014, that they had recruited Burberry’s Angela Ahrendt to their ranks, subtly changing how the technology world was starting to look at wearables. However it was not until towards the tail end of 2015 and heading into 2016, there has been a sudden leap of progress in the wearables space.

With the release of the Apple Watch, under Ahrendt’s supervision, we saw a move towards a more fashionable breed of wearable. Late last year saw the emergence of the Swarovski Shine, one of the world’s most sparkly fitness trackers, alongside items such as the Mira Range, displayed at CES 2016, which allows the wearer to receive notifications from their fitness app, straight onto a piece of delicate and stylish wearable tech.

So we have moved on from wearables being wholly functional, with fitness trackers currently the most likely to place fashion above function.

Combining fashion and secure functionality

I have, however, decided to set the bar high, I have chosen to invest in my own wearable, only when fashion and function truly combine. I live in hope that either Apple, who still retain the services of their ex-Burberry import as well as that of Paul Deneve, the former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, or one of the major Android houses, Google still have Ivy Ross, the fashion expert brought in to helm Google Glass, will produce great things.  

With the amount of fashion alumni, bringing their talent into the tech industry, it should only be a matter of time until I get my wish… Ultimately I would like to be able to use a piece of digital jewellery, as beautiful as it is practical, to check my bank balance, and pay for my tea when I’m out and about, or even transfer money to friends and family. With new iterations of The Apple Watch and Google Glass approaching, I think jewellery banking might be just around the corner.

Interested in digital techonology, mbanking and the future of financial services? Read more in our Opinion Piece How far can digital go? [PDF]