“Silicon Valley has this misconception that if the technical feature is well-built enough, consumers will lap it up, no matter what it looks like. This is not the case,” says Kate Unsworth, founder and CEO of Kovert Designs, a London-based startup that’s launching sleek, smart jewelry. This seems to hold true, as designers are using upscale materials and refining the size, shape and feel of their gadgets to glamorize geek wear, and for good reason. Although wearables have taken the world by storm as of late, it seems most people are still reluctant to sport bulky and chunky gadgets that actually look like gadgets. Must innovators worry more about aesthetic and designs as they do about the technology?
Ben Arnold, executive director and industry analyst for consumer technology at the NPD group notes, “We did some studies on wearables, and 51 percent of consumers who are interested in buying a smartwatch said they won’t even consider it unless it fits in with their personal style.” We have seen a large number of wearable technology that is beginning to concentrate on the look of their gadgets, and incorporate it with fashion. Take Opening Ceremony and Intel’s MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory), a stylish bracelet that displays communications and alerts on a 1.6 inch curved sapphire-glass touchscreen. Designer Rebecca Minkoff teamed with Case-Mate to create smart jewelry; her gold chain-link bracelet with pyramid studs that alerts wearers to calls and texts would be at home in the pages of Vogue. Tony Burch introduced bracelets for the Fitbit Flex activity and sleep tracker in her signature perky prints.
These popular pieces of wearable technology have definitely found success in the arms of fashion. However, that’s the thing about fashion, the term itself denotes that you frequently change what you wear to remain current after all. How long would it be before their fashionable buyers would get bored of donning the same thing day after day? At the end of the day, a one-size-fits-all approach to wearables does not appeal to the masses, and that’s where the industry needs to get thinking. Real success with these wearables might be seen when the technology is subtly included in a whole line of jewelry or indeed an entire apparel collection.
Maybe what wearables is missing is a tiny device with technology inside which easily fits into an ever expanding selection of jewelry. One could slip it into a different bracelet, necklace or jewelry piece to match the outfit of the day. The technology itself needs to blend in seamlessly into day-to-day accessory or apparel. It should feel as natural to the wearer as a part of themselves. For the rising new innovation of wearable tech, it seems both beauty and brains are a must.
Written by: Dipika Asnani - Content Writer & Digital Marketing Specialist at Promobi Tech.