Let’s be honest: wearable technology is pretty much unwearable. Smart watches and rings are clunky, some devices make you look like a cyborg, and most jackets or shirts with built-in technology are unflattering to say the least. Some of the technology is mind-blowing but one of the biggest deterrents for people wearing them is that they just look silly. And if there is any industry that knows how to make people look good, it’s the fashion business. Last year, Diane Von Furstenberg worked with Google for New York Fashion Week: her models strutted down the runway wearing Google Glasses. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. It’s not about dressing up the device; it’s about making wearable tech look like something we would want to wear. Here are some collaborations that could take fashion high-tech and high-tech mainstream:
Kate Spade & Everpurse
Kate Spade has already proved that she has the skills to go from geek to chic when she designed the Kate Spade Bow USB. However, Spade’s expertise lies in creating beautiful purses that women love to carry. That’s why we thought she would be the best person to take Everpurse – a wristlet that charges your phone all day – to the next level. Admittedly, the purses that have been prototyped by this Kickstarter project are already cute, but the Kate Spade name and style could make them a fashionable piece of technology.
Ralph Lauren & Hitoe Clothing
Materials developer Toray and mobile carrier NTT Docomo recently announced their project Hitoe cloth that contains nano fibres coated in a transmittable layer. If that went over your head, it means that the fabric can act as electrodes, and along with a small sensor you attach to the fabric, you can measure your heartbeat. This is essentially smart clothing. The fabric comes in bright orange and few people can truly say they find that to be a flattering colour. Ralph Lauren would make a great partnership for this awesome new piece of tech since he made a name for himself with his classic short sleeve Polo shirt. He knows shirts and he loves colour – it’s a match made in technology heaven.
Yves Saint Laurent and Google
Yves Saint Laurent came onto the scene in France when he took traditionally masculine clothing and made them feminine and beautiful for women. In 1966, he made a name for himself when he got women wearing classy power suits. The reason this fashion house would be best to work with to make Google Glass into something flattering is thanks to YSL’s “ready-to-wear” fashion legacy: makes sleek designs that aren’t just for the runway; they can be worn by every day people in everyday settings.
Michael Kors and SnapWatch
Smart watches are becoming the preferred wearable accessory, but they still manage to be large and unflattering. SnapWatch, on the other hand, is on the right track. They’re in talks to work with flexible technology company Plastic Logic to create a slim watch that wraps around your wrist with an e-paper screen, enabling an easy to read flexible display. The watch design is cool and futuristic, but I think having Michael Kors’ glamorous design would make them sleek and super-stylish timepieces.