Wearable Tech: Fashion and Technology Collide
Picture this, your alarm wakes you up in the morning and tells your thermostat to turn up the heat and your coffee maker to start brewing. You get on the scale and it tells your fitness band how close you are to your workout goal and adjusts how many steps you need to take today to be on track.
The Internet of things (IoT) refers to everyday objects that are connected to the Internet, to each other, and to you. It is an exciting prospect that will undoubtedly affect our daily lives in the next few years, making them easier and potentially healthier. But, for your fitness band to help you to stay on track to hit your fitness goals, you have to choose to put it on and wear it as a daily accessory. The exciting thing is that the fashion world is starting to get involved to make IoT not just functional, but also fashionable.
Tory Burch recently partnered with FitBit to make my too-sporty-for-everyday-life FitBit into a fashion accessory that I actually want to rock with my Michael Kohrs shoes and my Coach purse. But Tory Burch isn’t the only brand that has entered the wearable tech space. As we saw at New York Fashion Week earlier this year, quite a few highly recognized brands are showing interest.
Rebecca Minkoff partnered with Case-Mate to create a bracelet that discretely notifies you of calls and texts from chosen contacts and a second bracelet that is secretly a lightning cable. They also sell a compact mobile charge that’s so small it could fit inside your clutch.
Cuff takes it a step farther by combining Fitbit’s fitness tracker technology with Rebecca Minkoff’s notification technology, while allowing the customer to customize their look day-to-day with a line of various designs so you can change your cuff accessory to fit the occasion.
Open Ceremony partnered with Intel to take the technology even farther. Their smart watch, MICA, has similar functionality as Apple’s smart watch, but with a much nicer design. The below video shows how MICA can seemlessly integrate into your life.
Ralph Lauren took a different approach by eliminating a need for a wrist device by integrating a heart rate monitor and fitness tracker into the new line of smart shirts, making the shirt itself the wearable tech.
Along with Ralph Lauren, there are smart clothing designers who are pushing fashion and technology to a new level of innovation. Francesca Rosella of CuteCircuit claims that with smart textiles, downloading patterns to your clothing is the future.
Benjamin Males of Studio XO, creator of Lady Gaga’s bubble dress, believes in the next five years clothes will be self-tailored, “We [will soon be able to] change the fit of our clothes at the push of a button.”
Francis Bitonti and designer Michael Schmidt have a slightly different take on combining fashion with technology. Instead of embedding technology into fashion, they are using advanced technology to create customized fashion pieces with 3D printed clothing, like the one worn by Dita von Teese shown to the right.
It’s clear that we are just at the beginning of exploring wearable tech and watching fashion and technology collide. As seen by the innovators in the field, wearable tech could go in a variety of direction. But, it’s undeniable that it is an exciting, innovative and fashionable future ahead for wearable tech.
How will your customers respond?