Silk scarf by THEUNSEEN: when draped around the body forms patterns of colour responsive to motion.
Wearable tech has been around for some time , and as with most great innovations brands wanting to stay at the cutting edge of the market are wondering, and some rather desperately, how they might incorporate smart wearable technology into their product offering. The following are the top 5 ranked considerations needed to be taken when thinking about wearables.
This should go without saying, the technology should serve a function / improve the quality of life for the wearer. Before you embark on your wearable journey, ask yourself: have you done the sufficient research and gained customer insights to determine the interest / needs of your consumer base?
2: User experience
This should be at the bottom line as we have already established that the purpose of the wearable is to enhance the user’s life rather than cause a hindrance. This means it must integrate seamlessly. A big set-back of new wearables like VR headsets, is that they require the user to stop what they are doing to put on their headset, which quite simply is not good enough.
Collaboration with other brands and / or industries creates great things. A true pioneer of this is PI Apparel Hong Kong keynote THEUNSEEN, who have collaborated with the likes Swarovski to create a crystal hat that measures brain activity, Hermès to create a pollution map of Paris, and Formula 1 to allow their cars to interact with their everchanging environment during races. A great example of an innovative brand using collaboration to bridge the gap between high fashion, high tech, high pollution and high adrenaline sports.
With technological innovation moving at the speed of light, staying ahead of the curve means asking what comes next. With the current wearable hype having been born out of fitness bracelets and/or wired, battery-packed clothing, a huge amount of investment and resource is going into consolidating smart functionality into the very fibres with which the clothing is made - smart clothing made with smart fabrics. The 'device' therefore seamlessly (excuse the pun) working alongside the technology.
5: Data managementWith huge amounts of data being gathered through your technology, serious investment is needed in ensuring its feeding into an adequate analytics platform – whether inhouse or outsourced.
To give you even more insight ahead of your journey, I caught up with Frank Furlan, former CEO of The Swatch Group on his take on what’s next for the industry. Catch the full interview here: