Wearable Tech – Will It Ever Be Fashionable?

Wearable Tech – Will It Ever Be Fashionable?

Wearable Tech – Will It Ever Be Fashionable?

Wearable tech is taking over the world, and in that sense, it’s already fashionable. As we noted last week, the sector is expected to grow from $14 billion in 2014 to $70+ billion in 2024. But what about ‘high-fashion’? The catwalks and runways of London, Paris, and Milan? Can wearable tech ever merge with traditional designer clothing? Will we ever see a pair of Gucci Google Glasses or Paul Smith fitness bands?

The idea of fashion collaborations is nothing new. Licensing deals which allow two companies to share and integrate their expertise, brand imagery, and audiences automatically create a high level of public interest, grab the newspaper headlines and, most importantly for those involved, give the companies the opportunity to sell products to customers who might not ordinarily purchase them.

Yet so far, wearable tech designers and globally recognised fashion houses haven’t made easy bedfellows. At the time of publication, there hasn’t been one serious and lengthy collaboration by companies on either side of the fence – why not?

Nina Garcia, creative director for international fashion magazine Marie Claire, believes the problem derives from a lack of innovation. “Some [tech companies] have tried to move closer into the fashion camp by borrowing the credibility of high-end and established designers through partnerships and special editions of their products,” she said. “The true marriage of fashion and technology is not just going to come from the established fashion houses and tech giants, but through the creativity of innovators and a new brand of designers”.

This a damning critique coming from a person who is well-known as a very public and high-profile ambassador for Google Glass. To construct her argument, she uses the example of several recent fashion shows and the ‘Dr Dre Beats’ headphones. Last week, Fendi displayed their Spring 2015 collection in a menswear show, going as far to dress some models in red leather-clad Beats headphones. Great – except Alexander Wang did a show a couple of weeks prior to Fendi’s where they also used Beats headphones and  Oscar de la Renta did the same more than two years ago. As Garcia suggested – there is clear evidence of an ingrained and long-term lack of innovation.

Of course – this is not genuine wearable tech, Beats headphones are merely stylish headphones dressed up with fashion. Contrast that with Withings smart-watch, for which the company invested in their own product team (rather than relying on outside fashion designers), then sent them to Baselworld (a globally renowned watch and jewelry show) where they posed as undercover fashion bloggers. It is people and companies like this that Nina Garcia believes will see most success; they are cross-pollinating creators that make useful, desirable, and beautiful accessories—rather than co-branded ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ products.

For example, Apple’s new iWatch could have changeable designer wrist straps, but they are just dressing – the device itself must be designed to be desirable if it is to be a success. For wearable tech to become truly fashionable, the most important stakeholders must realise that the key to a successful piece of wearable tech is perfect form and perfect functionality. Nothing else will work.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

(Image Source: Nina Garcia 2012 Shankbone” by David Shankbone Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.)

By Daniel Price

About Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.

Find out more
View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…

Get Ready For Virtual Reality and the Cloud

Get Ready For Virtual Reality and the Cloud

Virtual Reality Cloud We’re lucky to live in an era where virtual reality is no longer relegated to the confines of a sci-fi movie universe. Thanks to technology introduced by products like Oculus Rift, consumers now have access to virtual environments with fully immersive graphic capabilities. As a result, companies have only just begun to…

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Out-of-the-box Cloud Solutions Although people may argue that data is not safe in the Cloud because using cloud infrastructure requires trusting another party to look after mission critical data, cloud services actually are more secure than legacy systems. In fact, a recent study on the state of cloud security in the enterprise market revealed that…

Three Ways To Secure The Enterprise Cloud

Three Ways To Secure The Enterprise Cloud

Secure The Enterprise Cloud Data is moving to the cloud. It is moving quickly and in enormous volumes. As this trend continues, more enterprise data will reside in the cloud and organizations will be faced with the challenge of entrusting even their most sensitive and critical data to a different security environment that comes with using…

Micro-segmentation – Protecting Advanced Threats Within The Perimeter

Micro-segmentation – Protecting Advanced Threats Within The Perimeter

Micro-segmentation Changing with the times is frequently overlooked when it comes to data center security. The technology powering today’s networks has become increasingly dynamic, but most data center admins still employ archaic security measures to protect their network. These traditional security methods just don’t stand a chance against today’s sophisticated attacks. That hasn’t stopped organizations…

Multi-Cloud Integration Has Arrived

Multi-Cloud Integration Has Arrived

Multi-Cloud Integration Speed, flexibility, and innovation require multiple cloud services As businesses seek new paths to innovation, racing to market with new features and products, cloud services continue to grow in popularity. According to Gartner, 88% of total compute will be cloud-based by 2020, leaving just 12% on premise. Flexibility remains a key consideration, and…

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data The modern enterprise is digital. It relies on accurate and timely data to support the information and process needs of its workforce and its customers. However, data suffers from a likability crisis. It’s as essential to us as oxygen, but because we don’t see it, we take it for granted.…

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry If you start talking about big data to someone who is not in the industry, they immediately conjure up images of giant warehouses full of servers, staff poring over page after page of numbers and statistics, and some big brother-esque official sat in a huge government building…

Cloud Infographic: IoT For Automotive Deconstructed

Cloud Infographic: IoT For Automotive Deconstructed

IoT For Automotive Deconstructed The IoT automotive industry is moving rapidly with many exciting growth opportunities available. We’ve written about some of the risks and benefits as well as some of the players involved. One thing for certain as that the auto industry is starting to take notice and we can expect the implementation of a…

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing Innovation Sao Paulo, Brazil has had trouble with both energy and water supplies as of late. Despite it is the rainy period. Unfortunately Sao Paulo is very dependent on its rain as a majority of its power is generated from large dams. No water, no energy. Difficult situation for a city of some…

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring One of the hottest topics in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the Internet of Things (IOT). According to the report of International Telecommunication Union (2012), “the Internet of things can be perceived as a vision with technological and societal implications. It is considered as a…

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Balancing The Playing Field For Startups According to a Goldman Sachs report, cloud infrastructure and platform spending could reach $43 billion by 2018, which is up $16 billion from last year, representing a growth of around 30% from 2013 said the analyst. This phenomenal growth is laying the foundation for a new breed of startup…

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Grow Faster In The Cloud

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Grow Faster In The Cloud

Cloud Startup Fast-tracking Start-ups face many challenges, the biggest of which is usually managing growth. A start-up that does not grow is at constant risk of failure, whereas a new business that grows faster than expected may be hindered by operational constraints, such as a lack of staff, workspace and networks. It is an unfortunate…

Expert Insights Into The Yahoo Breach

Expert Insights Into The Yahoo Breach

Yahoo Breach Latest reports suggest that the recent Yahoo! data breach may exceed 500 million records, with some sources implying millions more records penetrated, upping the total number of records stolen in various recent hacks to approximately 3.5 billion. CloudTweaks spoke to Kevin O’Brien, CEO of GreatHorn, for expert insight into this latest violation. GreatHorn…

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Cloud Architecture These days, Multi-Tier Applications are the norm. From SharePoint’s front-end/back-end configuration, to LAMP-based websites using multiple servers to handle different functions, a multitude of apps require public and private-facing components to work in tandem. Placing these apps in entirely public-facing platforms and networks simplifies the process, but at the cost of security vulnerabilities. Locating everything…

Big Data’s Significant Role In Fintech

Big Data’s Significant Role In Fintech

Data Banking Fintech covers a range of financial fields such as retail banking, investments, and lending and thanks to the mobile and internet innovations of late is a thriving sector. Offering improvements which drive customer satisfaction and education in an area previously inscrutable and dictated by gigantic inflexible corporations, fintech is helping put the power…

Battle of the Clouds: Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant

Battle of the Clouds: Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant

Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant The cloud is part of everything we do. It’s always there backing up our data, pictures, and videos. To many, the cloud is considered to be a newer technology. However, cloud services actually got their start in the late 90s when large companies used it as a way to centralize computing, storage,…

Infographic: 9 Things To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) Software

Infographic: 9 Things To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) Software

Business Intelligence (BI) Software  How does your company track its data? It’s a valuable resource—so much so that it’s known as Business Intelligence, or BI. But using it, integrating it into your daily processes, that can be significantly difficult. That’s why there’s software to help. But when it comes to software, there are lots of…