When we discuss the “next big thing” in the technology world, it often coincides with the “next fashion trends” conversation, because wearable tech – if done right – will become the new way to accessorize.
Investors are pouring millions of dollars into wearable gadgets such as Google Glass and medical apparel, and a report by Credit Suisse has predicted that the market will increase to $50 billion dollars over the next three to five years.
However, these new gadgets encounter fashion problems that were never an issue before the devices were expected to be worn externally, thus making the design element much more important. Until recently, technology hasn’t been designed with women in mind – most tech accessories currently on the market are designed as fashion neutral rather than as fashion forward. According to statistics, women outnumber men among prospective wearables buyers by 58 percent, proving that a fashion forward design is crucial.
Luckily, tech companies have begun to realize the importance of fashion in their new wearable accessories and have already begun to partner with fashion companies to produce some pretty aesthetically pleasing products. This past October, Apple hired former Burberry CEO, Angela Ahrendts. Further, Intel has partnered with Opening Ceremony, who together are looking to soon unveil a “smart bracelet,” My Intelligent Communication Accessory (MICA) ($495), – designed by Opening Ceremony and powered by Intel technology – that will be released this fall and sold exclusively at Barneys New York.
According to the vice president of business development and strategy at Intel’s New Devices group, Intel’s vision is to create products that “both enhance people’s lives and are desirable to wear.”
Intel’s and Opening Ceremony’s “MICA” features an 18K gold coating and a curved sapphire glass touchscreen display. It allows you to easily view messages, your calendar, and alerts from you curated VIP contacts.
Several other tech accessories:
Fashion brand EZIO has collaborated with designer Christian Stammbach to create a collection of Bluetooth watches and jewelry. They are designed to pair with a smartphone and also uses lights to alert users of calls or other notifications.
Tory Burch Fitbit Necklace ($175) / Tory Burch Fitbit Bracelet ($195)
Fitbit has partnered with luxury brand Tory Burch to create custom accessories that hold the Fitbit Flex tracker. They track your steps, distance traveled, and calories burned during the day. It can also track your sleep quality and can act as an alarm clock as well.
Cuff Jewelry ($35-$110)
Cuff, a San Francisco-based start up has designed a jewelry collection with features similar to the previous accessories mentioned, but also incorporates a security element. The bracelets and necklaces act similarly to remote controls for an individual’s smartphone.