Author: Barbara Seljak
Tracking your every step, breath, and heartbeat, without compromising your personal style, is a desire for all companies behind wearable technology – summed up as any technology device that can be worn on any part of your body.
You are probably thinking Google Glass, Pebble watch, Nike fuel band – but think again. The latest craze goes well beyond these – I am talking about fashion accessories ranging from rings, bracelets, necklaces, and brooches, to buttons, hats, and even bras. And these aren’t just for adults, kids can get their own versions as well – and so can your cats and dogs. I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet!
Wearable technology is starting to get a makeover, and there’s a lot of potential for fashion labels to jump on the bandwagon.
For me it all started with fitness wear, as I remember buying a Nike Fuel Band a year ago and not having much choice apart for the colour of the band – and even then I was limited to two simple colours: black and see-through (Apple named it ‘ice’ because it sounds more alluring, but it’s pretty much a see-through band displaying all the mechanisms that make it work – not attractive in my opinion!).
Then on my 30th birthday in 2013 my parents gave me a Garmin watch. But again in my opinion this watch is just not feminine enough to be mistaken for an accessory. I could also say the same about Fitbit Flex, Force, Garmin Vivofit, Jaybird Reign, and LG Lifeband Touch, Razer Nabu and Sony Core, they all spell out ‘no style’. Although I do not think any of the above will be on my shopping list as the one I have been waiting for is the highly anticipated Apple iWatch! Apple do tend to do ‘style’.
Endless possibilities with wearable technology
And then some companies are getting smarter by collaborating with fashion designers in order to make their products more desirable to consumers. American designer Tory Burch has added to her fashion empire of bags, shoes, and jewellery, a FitBit bracelet and necklace which, though still in the design stages, look to be much more fashionable and therefore more my style. And then we have Intel and Opening Ceremony working on a bracelet, the chip maker CSR is working with jeweller Celini on a necklace which lights up when a notification is received and can be programmed to release perfume. Sounds right up my street! From dresses that make use of eye tracking technology to move when someone is looking at them, and garments that charge your phone if worn in the sun, to trackable garments that find your items in walk-in closets, helmets with navigation systems that help you navigate turns to the nearest bike station, a smart sock that prevents runners from over pronating and injuring themselves, to an eco-friendly Hand Tree bangle which absorbs the polluted air around you and filters it, and releases a cleaner air back out, the possibilities are there.
Banking with my bracelet?
With all this innovation at my fingertips, my next question is, will this enable me to bank as well. It should! We know banks already started creating apps for Pebble Watch and Google Glass, but as we’ve now seen neither of these are stylish enough – yet! Since I would like to keep my style, will I be able to transfer my money between the accounts from my bracelet one day? Will I be able to get balance notifications on my necklace?
If the latest innovations around wearables are anything to go by, I wouldn’t be surprised if I could. Ideas and concepts are there – who knows what’s next? Chip-like devices inserted into our bodies?