We’ve been watching “wearable tech” come on like a force of nature over the last couple of years. It’s the convergence of ever shrinking technology that shows up in everyday lives everywhere – on our bodies, in our hands, in our cars – and information – and fashion. Yes, fashion.
Think of the obvious first, like fashion electronics. Whether it’s FitBit or the Apple Watch that just hit the scene, or Jawbone, or any of these things that are now considered fashion accessories – but they are primarily fitness accessories that give you information in real time about what’s happening with your body and your activity level.
When we think about it, it’s a natural outcome and convergence, and it’s happening more and more. And make no mistake, it’s not solely about fashion OR fitness. Now it’s being used to diagnose and manage medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure and heart rate, making an individual able to converse directly with their body – and their doctor or trainer in real time, sharing real-time stats.
It’s easy to get hooked. Wearable Tech is pervasive for lifestyle applications also, beyond the wellness diagnostics; it goes far toward increasing productivity. You can literally manage your calendar, engage with family and friends, communicate with your workout buddies, on and on.
Because the applications seem almost limitless, more companies are focusing on the fashion elements, beyond the functionality, to fight for that top dog position. This is a huge opportunity for fashion brands to be a part of the movement. Not far down the road, it’s easy to see…
- unique bands on Apple watches that are created by a certain designer.
- new kinds of clothing that incorporate everything from sunscreen, which is already happening, to information about your body within the clothes themselves, to the possible broadcast on clothing of your recent goals hit.
So where is it all headed, and how does Apple, the leader in the tech world, fit into the equation? The obvious answer is probably the Apple version of Google Glass. Obviously there’s a lot of room to improve on Google Glass, especially when it comes to business applications, and there’s no doubt that Apple’s got a team all over this application, ready to move it to the stratosphere and disrupt that part of the wearable tech industry. And while Google’s product was quickly adapted for use by medical teams (again, that convergence of wearable tech and immediate info relay), the fashion element is sorely missing. That simple beauty Apple brings to all things is definitely missing! Imagine runway models wearing the present-day iteration? I think not!
And just imagine, for example, clothing that could tell you’re over-heating, so it automatically cools you down (with or without prompting). Or a shirt that shines a 10K on your back when you finish your longest run to date, or a life jacket that once it hits salt water, it’s activated to broadcast a distress signal in an emergency. It’s really pretty incredible to think about. Maybe 1984 and The Jetsons gave human intellect a little too much credit on the timeframe, but the results, and products themselves, are no longer science fiction.
To your best success,
Kelli Richards, CEO of the All Access Group, LLC
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