The hi-tech future is ever-present in 2015, and fashion refuses to be left in the dust. Wearable technology is the new(ish) craze emptying our pockets, and now high fashion wants to throw its 2 cents in (we wish it was 2 cents!). Wearable technology, upon its conception, was geared towards techies, the aesthetics taking a back seat with simple designs and solid colors for the most part. Just the simple fact that you can wear a watch that does [way] more than tell time is cool and totally marketable. Recently though, partnerships between high fashion brands and tech companies have cropped up and a new direction has materialized: Hi-Fashion-tech. Hi-fashion-tech is about creating luxury tech items for those who don’t want to sacrifice fashion in order to step into the future.
How did we get here, you may ask? Obviously, we can’t talk about technological advances without mentioning the late Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs took Apple, Inc. and helped transform the tech industry into a model resembling the fashion industry, with new products emerging every season with indiscernible changes and elevated prices. So why not merge the two? According to Beechem Research, the fashion led wearable technology industry will reach 9.3 billion dollars in revenue by 2018. Is this a dangerous trend for our budgets? Undoubtedly, this can get really expensive⎯ But it doesn’t have to be! We are going to get you started with a list of stylish wearable tech, categorized by function. Said list also includes price points and descriptions to help you decide which chic gadget is right for your budget and lifestyle. If you are simply curious about just how far into the Jetsonian future we have traveled in 2015, check out this list of futuristic wearable tech trends to watch. You and Jane Jetson are basically like, next door neighbors.
Fitness and Health Trackers
Mira Band (starting at $169)
Mira, started in 2013 in Chicago, uses style as an incentive to encourage women on the go to lead a healthier lifestyle. This water resistant bracelet tracks steps, calories, distance and elevation. Unlike many of its other smart jewelry counterparts, the app that connects the band to iOS or Android not only tracks, but motivates, celebrates, and collects data about your daily fitness habits to personalize your fitness experience. At $169, It comes in five colors and three sizes. The sleek design is just dainty enough to wear with your favorite LBD for a night out dancing, because who wants to wear a silicone sports bracelet with a cocktail dress? Nobody.
Ear–O–Smart (starting at $135)
This smart jewelry company is so new (2014), you can only reserve Ear-O-Smart, but trust us⎯ it’s worth the wait! Most of the wearable tech we have seen as of late is limited to bracelets/armbands and watches. Ear-O-Smart has taken smart jewelry to the next level with the world′s first smart earrings that monitor your heart rate, calories, and overall activity during the day. The technology has to be miniscule to fit into the earrings, which is a feat that hasn’t been done by other companies. Not only are stylish earrings uncharted territory, but scientists have found a potential connection between your ears and your heart health. Doctors also use earlobes to monitor heart rate and blood pressure. Ear-O-Smart hit the Startup Fashion Week event in September, but people are already gushing about this brand. Reserve yours here.
Tory Burch for Fitbit (starting at $38)
Many of you may have heard of Fitbit; you might even own one and be wearing it right now. You may not know, however that the popular fitness band has partnered with Tory Burch to bring us more sophisticated smart jewelry, including pendant necklaces and several different colors for the band that wraps around your wrist. Tory Burch has a few fun silicone options starting at $38, but the high fashion options are priced from $175-$195.
LEAF by Bellabeat (retail price $119.99)
LEAF is a leaf shaped piece of smart jewelry atop a smooth bed of tan or dark brown wood that you can hook into a bracelet, necklace or wear as a pendant clipped to your garments. This smart pendant has a long list of capabilities, including tracking your activity, stress levels, sleep patterns, and menstrual cycle. Here’s a sweet twist: LEAF doubles in our next category, vibrating to alert you of alarms (like an inactivity alarm, ah!), notifications, and important events. There is a waiting list for this beauty, so you better get it on it.
Smart Devices for Alerts
Cuff Smart Jewelry (starting at $60)
Cuff almost made our first category as it plans to expand to fitness trackers in 2016. This versatile, smart jewelry brand alerts the wearer to a phone call, text or notification while their phone isn’t on hand by vibrating. This way, you never miss a call! Each module also has a 911 alert system in place in the case of an emergency. Cuff also has the most options when it comes to smart jewelry, with various designs, colors and items, including silicone, leather, and pendant necklaces. The best part: You can get a deluxe package with their four most popular styles plus the module for (drumroll please!) $215.
Ringly Smart Ring (starting at $195)
Ringly is, you guessed it, a ring! A beautiful, octagonal gem that you could wear with any outfit, emitting a soft vibrate and a subtle light on the side. Ringly sets itself apart by only alerting you of the phone calls and emails that are most important to you, from the apps that you have on your phone. Bonus: Free shipping!
Although all of these wearable techs are blow–your–mind cool and fashionable, we have to wonder if this trend will follow in the footsteps of fashion or technology. Fashion is timeless; quality jewelry and garments appreciate over time. Technology, however, becomes obsolete within a year or less. For more information on the ways we need to adapt to address the new psychology of wearable technology, be sure to take a look at this article The Psychology of Wearables and Wearable Technology.
Is hi–fashion–tech the new wave of the future, or a for–the–moment trend that caters to our society’s current obsession with our smart phones? If you read this list and are itching to take the hi-tech plunge, let us know in your comments below!
This is a guest post by Shannon White, the choreographer of the MECKids Dream Team.