By Eli Sinaiko
Wearables: pieces of technology which balance form and function in one object. Wearable tech has often seemed like an intangible aspiration forever relegated to daydreams of a future which would never arrive. As many children who worshipped Star Wars growing up can relate, fantasy, adventures and wearable technology all go together nicely. Speaking from experience, who hasn’t ever wanted a jetpack?
Unfortunately for us Star Wars fans, these devices are probably unlikely to materialize in the near future. Wearable technology though, is on the rise. On September 9th Apple released the Apple Watch , a device which represents just how far wearables have come lately. Aside from Google Glass (which is still in beta testing stages), before the Apple Watch was released the wearable technology market was mostly in athletics and sportswear, an area where technology has made great inroads in the last 15 years.
Sports training has been transformed by technology- athletes are far more aware of their vital signs, strength benchmarks, and diets thanks to new technologies. In addition, jogging and other types of athletic activity such as marathon running have become increasingly popular during this period of time.
The combination of these effects resulted in a high demand for athletic gear which could also perform functions desirable for athletes like monitor blood pressure, heart rate, track distance, and keep time. Naturally, as technology has become more integrated with athletics, this demand has increased at an exponential rate.
Now, the next frontier in wearable technology is in style. Athletic wearables have been an excellent way for wearable products to carve out a market niche, but diversification into other sectors such as high end designer fashion is the next step. The announcement of a gold Apple Watch Edition is certainly a step in that direction. Perhaps we will see a special edition of Google Glass by Ray Bans in the not-so-distant future.
In other wearable design news, this slip dress was recently introduced by a London based design firm. It has been lauded as the first, and certainly not the last, of it’s kind. This dress embodies the aesthetic qualities that make up what’s called the ‘design advantage’ and symbolizes a step away from traditional wearables that are often criticized for their clunkiness and poor design.
If you are interested in learning more about wearable technologies and design, check out the Designers of Things conference in San Francisco where these topics will be focused on in great detail.