Lately, we’ve been seeing an upsurge in wearable tech devices’ popularity, and are all for it!
Wearables have come a long way since calculator watches of the 70s and 80s. With function being the primary focus since the beginning.
From steps to stairs, heart rate to sleep, personal trackers saw the quickest uptick in popularity. Early adopters, like our CEO Philip Lew, embraced fitness trackers for running and cycling.
Fashion — as well as functionality
Hardware quality ranged greatly, and most devices served very specific purposes, which were quite limited. Until Apple decided to enter the market.
“The luxury watch industry generates more than $20 billion a year in revenue, money that comes from the same kind of customer already drawn to Apple,” wrote Wired after the Apple Watch hit the market in 2015.
With that release, people started looking at wearables differently. Fashion — in addition to functionality — has to play a major role in whether a wearable’s immediate success sees longevity.
Companies designing tech with fashion — and women specifically — in mind are taking a strong role in this latest wave of stylish wearables. And one of the first was Tinsel’s jewelry, which is tech designed for women, by women.
“We …thrive [in] putting the lens on women in terms of their daily interactions with technology. What is important to them and how can we make their lives easier through technology in a way that’s unexpected,” said Tinsel CEO Aniyia Williams about their stylish necklace that hides earbuds and cording within its design.
In that vein, newer company CAT (Creative Arts and Technology) just started producing a clutch handbag — its design not only can be programmed to change appearance but also has the phone-charging capability built in.
Other companies putting fashion at the forefront include:
- Olio Devices, which is making luxury watches that rival Apple in price point.
- Beacon & Lively, which makes a smart bracelet with a sensor light panel that changes color when you receive messages to your phone.
- Ringly, a company that makes rings and bracelets — with monitors that look like stones — that elevate the fitness tracker market.
In the News
There’s more news about wearables that’s lately caught our attention:
This week, Apple bought Beddit, which most likely means sleep monitoring will be a new addition to the next iteration of the watch.
- A study came out stating wearables help companies sustain their wellness programs.
- Wearables can be found to detect conflict in couples before they happen.
- Intel’s smart glasses are getting an upgrade.
- And, lastly, a fashion (and not so much tech) note, Tina Knowles Lawson, mother of Beyoncé and Solange, started the non-profit WACO (Where Art Can Occur), with her second husband Richard Lawson, and held a wearable art fashion show her family and other celebs attended. No visible tech was seen on the red carpet, though, unlike last year’s Met Gala.