From Human to Cyborg

Fashion in Wearable Technology

The sleek looking Pebble Steel

As this variety of devices comes to light, developers will also have to keep fashion in mind. Part of the reason Apple has been successful in marketing their products is their emphasis on design. Even though smart watches are interesting enough for techies to have an interest in buying them, the rest of the market would think twice before buckling a neon green silicon watch to their wrist. Molly Wood(2014) points out that wearable electronics have been stuck in a design rut. Bulky watches, bright wristbands and Roman-gladiator-meets-the-Jetsons arm straps have been the go-to for manufacturers like Nike and Jawbone. Granted she specifically references wearables that monitor health and exercise, but the fashion crimes can be seen across the wearable industry. Many smart watches have bright colors that clash with almost any outfit and Google’s Glass can make anyone look like a nerd. Fortunately, Wood points out that these wearable gadgets… are finally getting a fashion-industry makeover… And a handful of companies are already shipping wearable electronics that look less like athletic gear and more like well chosen accessories. Finally the current wearable industry is beginning to realize that to the average consumer, aesthetics are just as important as function. Pebble realized this and released a special version of the Pebble Smart Watch that has a brushed steel wrist strap as an option instead of the standard silicone model. Apple, a company built on design, offers consumers a multitude of watch bands to pick from when ordering the Apple Watch; from the classical leather or metal bands, to futuristic silicon bands and even a high end Edition model. By embracing fashion the Apple Watch will provide consumers more options that they wouldn’t get with many other smartwatches. If the wearable industry wants to open its market to include the general consumer, the will have to learn some techniques from the fashion industry to keep design in mind when developing devices.