Companies that are making wearable devices have tended to emphasize function over fashion, but this is about to change. We are now seeing big names like Apple, Tory Burch and Tag Heuer creating stylish Wearables that are not only high-fashion, but also smart.
When the first smart watches and fit bands came out, we were not sure if these Wearables were really going to be a staple in our everyday lives. Now with increased dialogues between the fashion and technology industries, it looks like this market is going to be a hit.
Being the first in its kind, the Apple Watch is an excellent example that combines fashionable designs with advanced technology. This awareness is causing interesting partnerships between companies, for example, Intel and Barneys New York. Daniella Vitale, COO of Barneys New York states, “One of the greatest opportunities for wearable technology is to create and design a beautiful accessory that our customers want to wear. It is exciting to be part of an elite group of brands which bring wearable fashion to life.” Technology companies are learning that in addition to be innovative, the key to success of Wearables is to be designed accordingly so that customer wants to wear it.
Another recent partnership is between Google and the sunglasses brand Luxottica, which makes Ray Bans and Oakley, to design a new range of its Glass wear. This team plans to set the pace in their respective industries by creating a new internet-connected eyewear that is more stylish.
On the other hand, one of the early runners in the Wearable market, Nike FuelBand, is falling out of the market. Last year Nike fired the majority of the team responsible for developing its FuelBand fitness tracker. Although the FuelBand was designed with many functional benefits the downfall is in its bulkiness. Nike is currently working on a slimmer version so that it is more fashion forward and can be worn in an every day environment.
The question remains, what will happen to companies like Omega or Rolex that are known for their classic look, when they don’t integrate IoTinto their products? Will they continue to be a powerhouse or will companies like Apple become a true competitor in their market segment? Some companies like Tag Heuer have already stepped foot in this direction. They recently joined forces with Intel and Google to create a device that will take on the Apple Watch. It will retain the look and feel of Tag Heuer’s traditional time piece but be able to track distance walked, current altitude and geo-location.
Withconsumers’ positive reaction to the Apple Watch, Swiss watchmakers and other high-fashion brands can no longer bury their headin the sand. We are seeing developments on stylish GPS tracking handbags, printed bands for Fitbits, a ring that sends you notifications and a bracelet that is actually a phone charging cable! Combining comfort, design, technology and connection to fashion brands, Wearables will soon become more mainstream.