I wouldn’t say I’m technologically impaired, but
the truth is, the industry moves so fast and it's hard to stay on the pulse. Nowadays, even babies are wearing smart
onesies! As a matter of fact, wearable tech is really in right now. You probably heard of the launch of the Apple Watch
(who didn’t?), but wearable tech is way bigger than that. In 2015 we are
surrounded by fitness trackers, smartwatches, glasses, fabrics, and even nifty GPS-enabled blazers.
Karyn Lu, the former head futurist/trend spotter for Turner (who now helps head up digital product strategy for HLN), explains that “between fitness trackers and the Apple Watch, wearable tech is so commonplace now. As long as it doesn’t make you look silly (remember Google Glass?) I think people are really open to wearable tech, especially if it makes your life better in some way.” It’s undeniable — wearable tech has infiltrated our day to day.
The trend is growing, and it’s growing fast. A recent Strategy
Analytics insight report revealed the top 10 wearable device predictions for 2015 and so far, most of their predictions are spot-on.
Smartwatches are probably going to overtake the recent fitness tracker craze,
rendering all those Fitbits and Jawbones purchased over the last few years obsolete. Apple’s Watch, of course, reigns as the top
wearable device release this year, and North America has become one of the
largest markets for wearable device vendors.
What’s in store for 2016? Well, smart glasses might actually have a shot if pricing goes down. (Which it just might, thanks to China’s contributions.) And according to Lu, devices will become smaller, more fashionable, connected, and context-aware. Most notably, our technology is on its way to becoming invisible.
“Eventually I do believe it will just be a part of us,” Lu explains. “I’m thinking of the Black Mirror episode featuring the ‘grain,’ which is both thrilling and terrifying to think about.”
Yikes, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Yes, the future is bright and if wearable tech can make us more connected, stylish, and healthy, I’m all in. But while in the process of doing research I started seeing wearable tech everywhere. I asked my friend Jacob Davidson, who was wearing a Pebble Smartwatch, about his device. He shared some words of caution: “I bought it to be more connected, but really, it turned me into a jerk. I’m always looking at my wrist — and people think I always have to go.”
Ah, the age-old debate: Does technology bring us closer together or push us farther apart?
If you want to know more, figure out which product is right for you, or just marvel at how fast technology evolves, check out this roundup of the coolest new wearable tech items out there. It’s important to stay tech-savvy. Unless you want to continue to get condescending looks from the Apple Store people. That’s cool, too.
Apple Watch, starting at $349; Apple.com
Now, if the Apple Watch is a little too much for you and you’re looking for something smaller and more chic — maybe in 18k matte gold — the Ringly might be your best bet. It’s still pricey, but it’s a simple tool that will help you keep your phone in your purse and still be connected. It alerts you to calls, emails, texts, and even Tinder matches by vibrating and lighting up. Downside? According to Tech Crunch, it smells.
Ringly Into the Woods Tech Ring, $260; Shopbop.com
There are some that argue that real wearable technology must be beautiful. CuteCircuit, or the people that brought us The Hug Shirt, which allows people to send hugs from afar, have recently introduced the Mirror Handbag. Folks, it’s a beaut. It can be coated in ruthenium, palladium, or gold, and it lights up via Bluetooth, creating patterns and even showing tweets. Its price tag? Pure glamour. But hey, if you can afford it * shrug *.
Mirror Handbag, $2,435; Cutecircuit.com
Here’s the skinny: You strap it on your wrist, it tracks your fitness and sleep, counts your steps, measures your heart health, and gives you advice via its Smart Coach. It’s supposed to make you feel better and be better. At least better than your friends (it comes with a dueling feature which lets you compete against other users).
UP3 Jawbone, $180; Jawbone.com