Monday, July 28, 2014

Whatcha Wearing? Fashion Forward With Wearables

Just wearing clothes? So last century.

We all have our sense of style. Some pay close attention to what they wear, others go for practicality and comfort, and a few could care less. Whatever you wear and however you wear it, it's an extension of who you are and how you operate as a human, day in and out. Wearing a piece of clothing is one thing, but our new age society offers creative advancements which give us opportunities to extend out of the realm of fabric and jewelry into the digital world of constant technology access. 

We all wonder from time to time what someone has on or why they are walking around wearing it; i.e., cousin Vinny in his leather suit.  Technology wearables are no different. Wearables are one of the fastest growing merchandise out there. Sales have quadrupled in the last two years. Reports estimate this market will grow to over $5 billion by 2018 . So you know about Google Glass? That just scratches the surface. If you are unsure of what they are or what variety there is for you to choose from, wonder no more!

(Here are some famous quotes from My Cousin Vinny to get you interested.)


"Hey, relax, I'm gonna help you."

What is wearable technology?  It's all the rage this year, I'll tell you that. Moving beyond the famous definition of tracking devices, wearable technologies span across a spectrum of uses. Humans started way back with armor for battles and glasses for sight to hearing aids, watches, spacesuits, and so on. Now, we actually have more stylish and multiple use wearable technologies. These dynamic devices can be worn outside the body, or potentially inside the body. Let's take a look at five examples from a range of industries.


"It's either the leather jacket, which I know you hate, or this. 
So I wore this ridiculous thing..."

Fitness: This is probably the most commonly known wearable. Fitbit is the largest and most popular health tracking device out there right now. They track things from food, weight, activities and sleep.  These product syncs your stats to your phone and computer. It provides real time access to your progress and reminders to keep you motivated on your health and fitness goals.  I recently talked with Melanie Knopke, a local KC wardrobe stylist, regarding what she knew about  Fitbit and other wearbles. She mentioned that Tory Burch also just designed for Fitbit. Check these trendy pieces out by Tory.


What they look like.

Health: Speaking of staying fit to be healthy, what about the health industry? As I mentioned, some wearables can be consumed in the body. There is a new chip out there, "smaller than an ant" which allows biomonitoring.  The Freescale KL02 chip allows the doctor to monitor and/or diagnose diseases for their patients either through wifi or the patient's app.  Learn more about it and other impacts on the health industry by clicking here.


Don't think this is chewable, but maybe it comes in grape flavor?

Business: When it comes to increasing productivity, wearable technology is the hot topic. CNBC wrote a recent story including some situations where companies could potentially save $1 million. Technicians and other employees could utilize wearable camera glasses to be "hands free" while working on different issues and take pictures or communicate in real time for assistance with problems. While this sounds like a successful solution, I should share with you that one wants to avoid being called a "Glasshole". A new term which defines those, who while wearing their Google Glass, ignore the real world and constantly talk to their wearable glasses, "Glass, do this...". Think of talking to Siri on a whole new level. So, training on technical skills and manners is a necessity when introducing this new business strategy. Here are some tips from CNN on how to avoid being a glasshole.

Not everyone is impressed by Google Glass.

Fashion: I absolutely love to wear jewelry and I know I am not alone. Also, as a working mom who tries hard to use manners around others, I struggle with the whole question, "to leave or not to leave my phone out?" Well, Ringly takes care of this for you! You can be discreet and put your phone away. It will notify you if you have a message, call, reminder or email from people that matter most. Smart and stylish. You can download the associating app and customize which notifications you want and when, more importantly, from whom. Melanie Knopke also gave her nod of approval for Ringly by adding, "I think it's a sign of good, fashionable and functional things to come."
"Put your phone away and enjoy the moment."


Sports: Who doesn't love Grant Hill? As a retired NBA player, he now is testing out the biostrip currently being developed. He said wearing this device can give professional athletes a more competitive edge. This two inch strip,known as MC10,  will alert Grant if he is physically overexerting himself so he can avoid injury, it can determine a good night's sleep to maximize his performance, and give him the daily data he needs about his body. It can be placed anywhere on the body to give feedback on hydration levels, heart rate and more. Next up? Smart T-shirts with embedded sensors! Read more here
THIS is what second skin looks like.


"You were serious about that?"

Yep. And, these are only a few examples of what is out there. Know what is coming, how you can wear what you want to, and learn more about yourself. Whether you are "into" fashion or not, there is no denying wearable technologies are taking us into a world of evolving expression. Melanie Knopke predicts "this is just the beginning of wearables...as a stylist, I think products like these are genius". She explains that is it important to maintain a look which can appeal to a lot of different people. Functionality is key as well.  


Coco Chanel once said, "Everyday is a fashion show and the world is your runway." Where will your runway take you? Find out in endless ways with wearables.



Might need to get cousin Vinny a wearable translator and maybe a stylist...Melanie?




Special thanks for Melanie Knopke for her expert fashion insight! Check out her blog: http://melanieknopke.com/


Sources: all sources are linked through my blog post.

3 comments:

  1. I can't wait to see where wearable technology goes in the next 5 years! Thanks for including me in your post!

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  2. This is an awesome post. Really very informative and creative. This sharing concept is a good way to enhance the knowledge. Thank you very much for this post. I like this site very much. You can visit here. wearable technologies is exploding world wide. For information, reviews and fun facts about wearable technology, fitbit sleep tracker and best fitness band etc.

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