Wednesday 15th August 2018. 7:32.
I stand on the crowded train station platform before making my first commute to my work experience placement at Chameleon. Relying on a two-shot skinny caramel latte to act as a stimulant after an early morning start, I realised everyone around me is engrossed in technology. I’ve grown up with the PC revolution, from the Nokia 9900 to the latest iPhone X, however, more recently I’ve been the target generation for the relatively new industry of wearable technology. Many companies have taken advantage of this gap in the market by expanding to make technology a wearable fashion statement. This made me curious to explore the continued advancements in wearables.
Let’s talk trash
Many would say Apple’s launch of the Apple Watch back in 2015 created the fast ticking time bomb of the wearable technology evolution. Two years ago I asked for an Apple Watch for Christmas, alongside many others jumping on the new wearable technology bandwagon. But, as I sit writing this blog I’m wondering why I wanted an Apple Watch so badly.
For me, being able to sit in the back of the classroom and reply to any notifications without using my phone and getting a detention was awesome! But by the time I left school I wasn't wearing my Apple Watch on a daily basis, and when I did want to wear it the battery was flat. The Apple Watch ended up at the back of my wardrobe. It seems wearable technology is more similar to our throwaway fashion society than we thought?
Fantasy Fashion League
If having an Apple Watch was not a big enough fashion statement, Apple collaborated with high fashion luxury goods manufacturer, Hermès. The partnership based on ‘parallel thinking’, sets a consumer back £1399 to get a piece of designer wearable technology compared to the ‘normal’ watch costing a less expensive, £329. In the fashion industry, global brands including Michael Kors,Tag Heuer, and Hugo Boss have all started to tap into the smartwatch market.
Is wearable tech just a fad?
Google’s glass and Snap Spectacles are prime examples of wearable fad. Google glasses displayed real-time information in a hands-free format, but within a year of being available to the consumer, Google stopped production, after receiving large amounts of criticism over safety concerns. I do wonder if the ‘style’ aspect of the glasses detracted consumers from jumping on this area of wearable technology. If they looked like the popular ‘Ray-Ban’ glasses, which so many of us buy every year, would Google glass have had greater success?
It’s clear to see that wearable technology is evolving in our everyday lives. With consumers progressively demanding functional but stylish wearable tech gadgets, the role of fashion in the tech industry will no doubt start to pay a greater role. With fashion companies continuously having to keep on the pulse with upcoming trends and innovating to stay ahead of the competition, wearable tech fashion statements are not going to go away.
It makes me wonder in 10 years time when I am commuting full time, what fashion wearable technology will surround me on the platform station - holographic rings by Tiffany, connect earrings by Harry Winston maybe? (I also wonder if my coffee preference will change with age?!)