Wearable tech is gathering pace. From watches to glasses, there is something that everyone seems to be wearing or investing in. What were once seen as a ‘little too techy’, are now seen as essential elements of fashion.
But wearable tech is not the same to everybody as an episode from the Apprentice showed. With flashing lights and solar panels, the resulting products lacked finesse and mass appeal but, it did show one thing – that people are now seriously thinking of wearable tech in fashionable terms.
And tech is relying on fashion too. In fact, it would seem that the driving force behind creating the necessary mass appeal that the mobile phone and computing companies is fashion. If it looks odd, or out of place, customers are not buying it.
So what wearable tech is making it in terms of fashion?
Apple Watch is the first foray in to the world of wearable tech for this computing giant. It is proving to be a fantastic piece of wearable technology, that functions like they say it will but its appeal is certainly in keeping with current fashion trends.
Apple has set the scene in any ways, as it is the first major tech company to have collaborated with the fashion world in creating a piece of wearable technology. And it was no afterthought either.
Apple worked with top designers from the world go so apart from getting the best in terms of fashion input in to their product, they also harnessed the power of the fashion world behind its product. As leather makes a comeback for 2015, Apple has a watch with high end leather straps and gold finish, something that the fashion world has coo-ed over.
And the marriage between the Apple Watch and the fashion world seems set to carry on blossoming, even after the honeymoon period. Liu Wen, the supermodel that graced the cover of Vogue in China wearing an Apple Watch is just one big name to be genuinely interested in the tech. Renowned designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour have also been spotted taking a fashionable view of the watch too.
Another giant in the tech world is Google and this company have made it one of their missions to drive wearable technology into the mainstream, with smart glasses.
The limited release of Google Glass in 2013 was greeted with much clamouring for more but, there were some detractors who thought that the glasses would not be something people would want to wear in public.
And the concern was one we have heard before – they looked too techny, too gooky to be mainstream, especially beyond the lax boundaries of the metropolis. What is acceptable in one place, can look too odd and out of place in smaller towns and cities.
Google realised the answer to the dilemma. Teaming up with designer Diane von Fursenberg, a whole range of fashionable Google Glasses products were created and launched. They were on trend and on budget too, thus increase the availability and accessibility for people interested in this kind of wearable technology.
However, concerns remain that they still look and feel a little too technological but, their appeal is beginning to take off.
Fitness wearable tech is big business. Wearing gear that can help track your progress and suggest improvements and so forth, is bigger business that anyone thought it would be and the Fitbit Flex has fit right in to this niche.
And here in lies the rub – many people want fitness accessories that they can wear every day. Traditionally, fitness gear also takes on the hues of bright pinks, reds and yellows and yet, this is not suitable for the workplace, for many.
But, the stride to work every morning, or the run or the cycling commute is part of someone’s fitness regime and so they want to wear the tech.
Again Fitbit teamed up with a designer partner, Tory Burch in this case, to create wearable tech that did the job, but looked great with everyday casual and work wear, and not just exercise gear.
But they have been clever to realise that customers may want both and thus, there is a split in the design range too. Patterned silicone bracelets are for those that want the brightness, and the high-end looking brass bracelets have proved popular.
Many businesses have also seen the potential of the blending of tech and fashion. Today, consumers can easily purchase replacement bands for Fitbits and other fitness-watch brands to suit their needs and individual styles. With this, fitness watches or smartwatches can be worn for different occasions, no matter the dress code.
And it is not just tech firms that are nudging in to the wearable tech market…
Fashion giant Ralph Lauren has seized the initiative by announcing the Polo Tech Shirt. Designed for use during exercise, it has various sensors that collect the wearer’s biometric data from heart rate to calories burnt and so on. This data is transmitted to the smart phone app for analysis and so forth.
No new exactly, but certainly the first from a powerhouse of a fashion giant and was a short demonstrated during the US Tennis Open, 2014 by American player Marcos Giron. It is expected to launch in 2015, with a £125 price tag. The expectations are that other fashion brands will take not and follow suit.
Wearable technology seems to be a fashion that is here to stay. Who know what we will be wearing in years to come? This article was written by www.elesclothing.co.uk