When we start thinking about wearable technology, it’s easy to think about Star-Trek. Wearable technology came out of the engineering closet looking clunky, sci-fi-in-a-bad-way-y, and uncool. Luckily, wearable tech has made some strides in the fashion department. Here are a few devices that get us excited about a little skin to tech contact.
Remember when you saw the first calculator-watch? Maybe you thought, whoa, that’s cool, but never bought it for fear of being labeled a nerd forever. Times have changed. No longer reserved for Steve Erkle, smart watches are making their way mainstream. The race to an adoptable, affordable, and fashionable watch is on with a few front-runners.
The i’m Watch’s technology matches the needs of the modern smartphone user without having too many bells and whistles to make it unnecessary. The design is rectangular and wears like a regular watch. With a few color options, this aluminum, Bluetooth-powered timepiece will run you about $350. Android tested, Android approved.
Targeting a more action-orientation market, the SmartWatch has all the features of those activity measurement watches you’ve seen, but also includes the style required to wear it in public. With a more modern look, you can select the color of the band, and also snap the case on and off if you’re looking for greater mobility. Sleek, modern, and versatile, the SmartWatch is a great option for the active professional looking for a watch they can wear both on the bike-commute to work and in the board room. And priced starting at around $150-200, it’s an affordable option.
You’re not going to find this clothing at the big-box retailers just yet, but these threads are changing the way people wear clothes.. and those people are looking good doing it.
Fashion designer Ying Gao created a series of dresses that move when someone is looking at them. Yes, the dress responds to another’s gaze. With eye tracking technology and photo-luminescent thread, the dress certainly stands out. The dresses don’t have price tags and would likely be absurdly expensive, but then again, so was the first desktop computer.
While the technology isn’t 100% reliable (yet), companies are testing clothing that can charge your smartphone through solar power. The usefulness is to be determined, but the technology is making its way toward mainstream and just might have enough (solar) power to catch on. With futuristic designs, you wouldn’t want to wear the photovoltaic zip-up to a business meeting, but it’s certainly more stylish than carrying around a solar panel on the weekends.
In a consumer-driven society, the iBag protects people from their shopaholic selves. Using RFID technology, the smart-handbag recognizes when the wallet is taken out, and even when you enter a favorite store (it can be set to lock when this happens). When you begin spending, it can send alerts to your phone talking you off the spending-spree ledge. Pretty cool, if you’re cool with being told what to do by a purse.
Last but not least, the Tagg Pet Tracker is wearable technology for man’s best friend. This device helps you keep tabs on the four-legged love of your life, for example, sending you alerts when the Tracker trots past a designated boundary. It actually looks pretty cool too. They have not, however, invented the Tagg tracker for your teenage daughter…