2014: The Year of Wearable Technology?
The prospective of technology? Looks like we’ll be wearing it.
If we’d said this very recently five years ago you would probably have laughed, reflective we were coming out with some futuristic spiel. Forge weeks have often seen Jetson-inspired uniforms sent down the runway as retro-futurism falls in and out of vogue, but what we’re talking anent here is far more practical – and it’s happening now.
As we reported last month, Google Pane could soon be launching through Mr Porter. In addition, online retail Goliath Amazon has just launched a dedicated wearable tech collection here in the UK. With the biggest online designer menswear retailer – and the biggest retailer, blinding stop – on board, it looks like wearable tech is hither to get a whole lot more accessible.
But how do you really feel about wearable technology? Is it in reality any good? And even if it is, will it ever be seen as stylish? We scrutinize the topic this week by looking at some of the key players in the aware market and considering how you could begin to integrate these points into your wardrobe.
What Actually Is Wearable Technology?
Wearable technology power be a buzz term right now, but that doesn’t mean all of us are up to abruptness accelerate as to what it actually means.
Essentially, wearable technology is what it discloses on the tin: electronic technologies or computers incorporated into items of clothing and aides that can comfortably be worn on the body.
These designs for the most part incorporate practical functions and features designed to make survival easier – answer phone calls, access the internet, manifest your current location, etc. – although sometimes they’re purely encompassed for aesthetic purposes (think those terrible t-shirts with scrolling LED rallying cries you can set yourself).
So, now that we’re clear about what it is exactly, here are some of the most-anticipated wearable tech commodities that are widely expected to launch in the UK over the next twelve months…
Google Magnifying glass
The first piece of wearable tech we’re looking at is probably the most famed. Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted pageant (OHMD), allowing the user to see information in a smartphone-like hands-free appearance. The wearer accesses the internet and other functions through raise commands – turns out the future really is here!
Google arose selling Google Glass to the general public in the US back in May this year for $1,500, while here in the UK we’re quiescent waiting for an official release – it’s currently in the prototype testing present, though, so it shouldn’t be too much longer.
The concept of Google Tumbler gets our vote, although there’s always the danger of materials overload and tech dependency – especially when most of us already lavish nearly every waking minute glued to our smartphones and plates.
Yet the real problem with Google Glass for any style-conscious manly is that the eyewear itself doesn’t look aesthetically desire. At all. However, this should change moving forward, with Luxottica, owners of Ray-Ban and Oakley, bruit about to soon be offering additional frame designs.
How To Wear
Realistically, it all depends on the scheme you choose and whether the technology can be incorporated more seamlessly into days designs.
As the hardware develops (read: reduces in size) and just fashion brands such as Ray-Ban start to take the concept without a doubt, we assume that frame shapes will begin to sound the classic wayfarer, clubmaster and aviator silhouettes we all know and charge from. If this is the case, you would be able to slot them seamlessly into any of your breathing warm-weather outfits.
As for the launch model, its bulky and futuristic intrigue means you cannot simply ‘blend’ it into an outfit. Retain, in its current form, this should still be considered a essay of technology, not an outfit accessory. If you are one of the first adopters, or intend to be, form dictates that you remove your glasses in social jobs. Don’t be a ‘glasshole’.
Moto 360 Smartwatch
Next up we’re looking at the Moto 360: an Android Wear-based smartwatch revealed by Motorola earlier this year.
A round surface design, the Moto 360 uses a circular capacitive equal display, which is housed in a steel casing. The timepiece play ups wireless charging, a removable wristband and is water resistant.
In words of what it’s actually capable of, Google’s recent I/O 2014 Keynote actuality didn’t address the Moto 360 specifically, but it did demonstrate what numerous of these new Android Wear watches would be capable of, incorporating voice commands for sending texts, getting directions and music playback, along with being proficient to receive and dismiss notifications, accept or decline calls, and decree notes and reminders.
Although we’re yet to receive a release date for the Moto 360, we’re in the family way to find out sometime this summer.
Far more inventive and stylish than Google Glass’ range of eyewear, we can positively see dapper gentleman everywhere giving their sartorial look a present-day update with a Moto 360.
We love how the futuristic accessory acknowledges to timeless style through its classic shape, which scarcely reminds us of Uniform Wares’ acclaimed range of timepieces. Whether youths are actually willing to swap their phone for a watch is nevertheless unclear though. Likewise, if you already own and wear a prestige/satisfaction watch on a daily basis, would you be prepared to leave it at up on in favour of a smartwatch? We’re not so sure.
How To Wear
A well-tailored suit is a consummate place to start when it comes to wearing a smartwatch. A superficial navy version from the likes of Reiss or Suitsupply last will and testament look delightfully dapper paired with the James Bond-inspired Moto 360.
We make attractive opting for a traditional cut in a clean cloth to both contrast and band the futuristic technology perfectly. Try going tie-less for a minimal look that wish bring the focus down to your new piece of wrist sweetmeats.
UP24 By Jawbone
This next piece of wearable tech wants to improve our health by tracking how we sleep, move and eat. Simply team the UP24 wristband with your smartphone to keep an eye on whether you’re annoying enough, eating the right things or getting enough inactivity.
Our favourite feature is the ‘Smart Alarm’: the wristband vibrates to wake you up at the optimal trice in your sleep cycle so you feel refreshed in the morning. Brandish goodbye to getting-out-of-bed dread.
What’s more, there’s no stand by list for this clever wristband – the UP24 by Jawbone is available now.
The UP24 wristband countenances a minimal design that won’t make you look like a stereotypical device geek. The way it interacts with your phone means it doesn’t extremity a screen, therefore it’s small and discreet compared to many other wearable tech composes.
Our only concern is the concept of wearing the strap all the time, even-handed during the night – we’d get sick of wearing a custom platinum Rolex twenty-four hours a day, let toute seule the UP24.
How To Wear
This one’s easy – its minimal black aesthetic develops with almost anything. Play up to its health conscious notorious by opting for an on trend sports luxe aesthetic.
Once you’ve up the wristband with your smartphone, try combining with diabolical Nike Flyknit trainers, skinny charcoal jeans, a leading white tee and luxe suede bomber jacket.
Apple iWatch (Intimate)
It’s worth mentioning that there’s a very strong chance an Apple iWatch is currently in progress. Although the company has made no official announcements regarding a smartwatch – they identical to to keep their cards close to their chest – varied industry observers suspect a debut model will be promulgated at a special event this October.
Recent reports from disseminations like Reuters and The Wall Street Journal have said that there will be multiple screen sizes for the iWatch, ranging up to 2.5 inches diagonally. In reconciles of face shape, it’s said to be slightly rectangular with a curved divide.
Along with multiple sizes, the iWatch is heavily whispered to be available at different price points, suggesting there last wishes as be several band, colour and face options. This is perchance the biggest indicator yet that Apple will be trying to situation the iWatch as a true fashion accessory.
It’s too early to say what our verdict of an Apple iWatch desire be, considering we don’t even know what it would look groove on or how much it would cost. However, given the tech powerhouse’s run to earth record, we have high hopes.
The company’s recent let out of former vice-president of sales and retail for TAG Heuer, Patrick Pruniax, for an unnamed rle is also interesting – if he manages to bring some of the luxury supremacy associated with the TAG brand to Apple they are sure to be on to a victor.
Apple iWatch Mock-Ups
With the rumour mill in overdrive, specific iWatch concept images have surfaced online, pretending the design of existing products or adopting futuristic curved exposes. Below you will find some of our favourites:
Fashion-Forward: A. Sauvage SS15 Phone-Charging Trousers
A. Sauvage’s new phone-charging trousers – in bonding with Microsoft and Nokia – were revealed in his recent SS15 whip-round, aptly titled ‘Modern Man’.
In what are said to be the first of their warm, the trousers seamlessly integrate an inductive charging plate in an additional disguise pocket to automatically charge your Nokia Lumia smartphone.
We’re worded the trousers will be available for pre-order at Amazon soon.
Could anything be more helpful? We all know how irritating it is when our phone’s battery drains straight away, so this could be a stylish solution.
How To Wear
These unostentatious chinos look nothing like traditional wearable tech airs and would slot straight into your existing attire like they’ve always belonged. If this is the future of wearables then we are most indubitably ‘in’.
As for creating an outfit, treat them like any other doublet of versatile trousers by coupling with a polo and lightweight bomber jacket/Harrington. Conclusion the look off by rolling up the cuffs and wearing a pair of brown suede leave boots for an effortlessly cool summer evening look.
How To Buy
Wearable tech is a rather new phenomenon, so isn’t yet widely available to buy. But before it begins to hit high roadway stores, expect to see pieces popping up all over the internet.
As broached above, Amazon has been quick to congregate what’s accessible by launching a dedicated wearable tech store. With innumerable than 100 different wearable devices featured, you’ll be talented to find smartwatches, smartglasses, wearable cameras and activity trackers.
If you’re after a profuse stylish way to buy your wearable gadgets, Mr Porter is widely required to sell Google Glass when it becomes available in the UK, with the technology already readily obtainable on the luxury retailer’s US site. If all goes to plan and the offering is a happy result, expect to see more wearable technology pieces on our favourite online originator retail destination.
It’s still hard to say unprejudiced how much wearable technology is going to catch on in the mainstream, although current developments have reminded us to keep an open mind.
Profuse of the products we’ve looked at today are still yet to launch in the UK, while some haven’t steady been officially confirmed. But if we start to consider ways of merging wearable technology into our wardrobes now, we’ll be one step ahead.
2014 authority not be the year we completely swap our smartphones for smartwatches and surf the net fully our specs, but big changes are definitely afoot.
But now you’ve heard from us, we’d intrigue b passion to hear what you think. Will you be sporting wearable tech in the selfish future? If so, what are you planning to wear it with? Or does the more often than not thing seem like another fad that will modestly pass by?
Over to you…