Wearables Watch: Why Wearables Is THE Conversation

So just how did wearable tech get such a large seat at the table recently? For someone who has been tracking the wearable arena for the last couple of years, it’s great to finally see so much discussion about the current state and potential of wearable tech. Thing is, so much of the conversation is not very holistic or far reaching; and, therefore, the real forecast is being missed.

For example, I just recently read an article that essentially says that the problem with wearables, even though projected to be a $50 billion dollar industry in just 3 years, is that they don’t seem to appeal to people who need them the most (i.e. those who might do well to monitor their weight, keep a check on their heart, etc). This is the myopic view of wearables. Let me tell you, the scene is way bigger than just counting footsteps and heartbeats.

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First, we need to keep in mind that we are in the nascent stages of wearable tech, but the pace is moving so fast that everyone needs to prepare. Yes, the wrist bands and glasses we see may not yet have scalable adoption, but the fascination and potential with these devices is what is continuing to capture public imagination and consideration. Consumers are ready to be seduced, ready to be dazzled once the offer provides enough value. However, this phenomenon is not just about a hard piece of technology, but rather the possibility of extending one’s very own being via technology. That’s the take away. It’s what I call, the neo-human – the desire and capability to be stronger, faster, existing in several places at once, all thanks to tech. We’ve seen it via the mobile phone which enables to now do so many things via a single swipe of an app that Wonder Woman had best look out. Sure heart rate might not be enough to lure tons of sales today, but as these devices offer more seductive elements, there will be a growing response tomorrow. As such items as removable, wearable tattoo-like skins that enable the user to monitor sunscreen limitations and more, and as clothing extends our sensory information via smart fabrics; there will be further adoption. In fact, according to a new report by market analysts Beecham Research, the fashion-led wearable tech market alone could hit US$9.3 billion by 2018. Why? Because the algorithms will work better on a 3D style vector rather than just on a small area like, say, the wrist. But this will be about more than big data, ladies and gentleman.

This will be about status; the new logo, if you will; edge, customization; and more, that will make this smart-fabric/smart clothing arena pop. Those early to the party will always get the best seats. So current nay-sayers, beware. But in order to throw the right party, the best hosts will understand that different items will appeal to the different, fragmented of demos today. A one-size-fits-all approach (pun intended) will be sudden death – and loss of capital – to companies that do not match cultural behavior to the the device, not the other way around. This is not about the gifted engineer and techie driving the scene, which is kinda still what’s happening at the moment. Much like the rest of disruption in society, this is about a bottom-up approach, if success is to be had at all. The consumer, we, the individual; will drive desire, scope, look, feel, and even price. And it better come in solutions that fit various lifestyles. Those best connected to that pulse of the street, will be able to create organic magic. This will occur, partially, as a result of partners from various sectors coming together for the first time to create something completely new and coveted. We are witnessing the extremely early stages of this. It will expand.

So use distance vision when looking at the wearable tech game and potential opportunities. Things have only just begun. How are you preparing?

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Wearables Watch: New Bedfellows

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“Wife Swap” is a network television series where selected women trade families in order to experience what life is like in the shoes of another for a limited period of time.   However, my cultural trend research indicates that we are actually witnessing the very early stages of a new, real-life trend that involves the swapping, if you will, of execs between the fashion and tech worlds. This seems to be taking place as both retail and tech companies Continue reading

Expanding the Definition of “It” Girl

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Part of what I do as a digi-socio trend analyst is connect the dots.

I simply can’t help it. I love doing it, and I excel at it.  Sometime people get it immediately, sometimes it takes them a while; but they always arrive at the same point eventually.  Case in point, I recently pitched a supposedly edgier-than-thou, left-of-center digital ‘zine (read:  not that edgyl if it includes a post how Beyonce is a master of her game.  I think we know this already, so I’m not certain how unique that post is, but I digress….) about contributing a piece about the rise of who I’m seeing as the new “It” girl.

I explained to editor X that it occurred to me that when I look at popular fashion magazines and media outlets such as  Continue reading

Wearables Watch – The Hijack

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“Hijacked: How Wearables Will Further Erode Hierarchy Via 3 Key Aspects”

The following is a re-post from my recent piece for Twitter’s invitation-only writer’s platform:  Medium –

From Google Glass to the upcoming iWatch and much more, we’ve been reading quite a bit about the advent of wearables and their stunning capabilities. Indeed, many of us seem rather poised and ready for wearables to be the next “big thing.” In fact, the wearable concept is not all that new given the fact that some say the Sony Walkman from back in the day falls into such a category. But how ready are we, really, for Wearbles 2.0?
Early pop culture reaction to the new school of wearables has included everything from minority speaker of the House of Representatives recently asking a journalist what’s with Google Glass during a press conference to the infamous “Saturday Night Live” skit parodying the seeming awkwardness of the search titan’s product to fashionistas waiting with baited breath for what could be a slew of chic Apple wearables that will be introduced and overseen by none other than the former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent. New means opportunity to some, dread and fear to many. (In fact, wearables are so new that, of

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Pondering Interplay of 3D Printing, Fashion and New Social Consciousness

One of the most active  companies on the new 3D printing scene today is Shapeways.  If you check out their Instagram on any given day,  you might catch a quick shot of model Coco Rocha stopping by their offices, behind-the-scenes with notable Dita Von Teese posing in a 3D printed dress or a preview of a printed piece of jewelry from designer Kimberly Ovitz.  I had the the opportunity to speak with Duann Scott at Shapeways recently in order to get a deeper understanding of 3D printing and its impact on fashion and how its philosophy just may be reflective of/complimentary my research on the rise of the individual voice in our society. Analog fabrication versus digital –  here’s a Q&A peek at part of our conversation:

LdC: I’m so excited to talk with you because I think what you are doing is really hot.  You seem to be bringing the Continue reading

Inside A New Phenomenon: Fashion Logo Sunset

 

Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Nicole Vulser a few questions regarding an interesting new development in fashion.  Some of you may be aware that  several media outlets have run pieces in the last couple of months pondering the “disappearance of the logo” from the m.i.a. “LV” on the Vuitton runway to new philosophies in China.  The situation really struck me so I decided to do a bit more reading on it.  As I began to research, I actually found that Nicole, through her solid work as a reporter covering the luxury industry for the French newspaper “Le Monde”,  seemed to be the first to note this socio-economic occurrence.  So naturally, I decided to go right to the source in order to ask a few questions about this trend, as it intersects with the growth of technology.  She replied back tout de suite, and I thought our Seamless tribe and fans might be interested in her thoughts.  Here we go: Continue reading