Until a few years ago, wearable devices—or simply wearables—were not considered wearable by the fashion-conscious, as these lacked panache. The lines between the two are, however, getting blurred every day. Gone are the days of bulky and bland-looking smartwatches and fitness trackers. Now, the fashionista in you does not have to sacrifice style for convenience and functionality. Presented in this article are a few such new-age wearables.
A wearable bracelet for women, Mira is devoted to giving a simple, personal and motivational fitness experience with style. The accompanying iPhone/Android app, Boosts, delivers motivational messages throughout the day. It also handles basics like tracking steps, calories, elevation and distance covered.
Mira smart bracelet works well with any fashion look and wrist size. You can also clip the tracker to your t-shirt or tuck it in your pocket. Made from stainless steel, it comes in brushed gold and midnight purple colour variants and three sizes (petite, small and medium).
Bellabeat Leaf’s health-tracking technology connects your body and mind, allowing you to reach your full potential. It helps you track your daily activity, sleep, mindfulness and menstrual cycles. It tracks your body movements during the day, from doing yoga to riding a horse, and guides and teaches you how to train your mind with personalised meditations. The Leaf can be worn as a necklace or a brooch.
Gemio smartband connects you to music, friends and sports. It features 24 LEDs with millions of possible colours that can light up in rhythm to the music, or be controlled by you, or by a DJ at a club or festival. It comes in two variants: Gemio Band 1 that supports wireless charging and Gemio Band 2 that charges through a USB cable.
Ringly comes equipped with features that help you stay connected to people and activities that matter most. It syncs with your smartphone to alert you to calls, messages and emails. It works with a number of social networking apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, among others.
The smartring allows you to stay balanced with audio-guided meditations and breathing exercises.
US-based Omate teamed up with French fashion house Emanuel Ungaro to come up with fashion-forward wearable tech. Among their offerings is Unago ring that only notifies you of calls or messages from the one person who is most important to you. Since the smartring only vibrates for one person, the battery lasts for five days on a single charge.
The ring comes with either 18-karat gold or silver plating, and a choice of gemstones (blue topaz, opalite, onyx, sapphire or ruby). It is assembled by the world’s leading fine jewellery maker, Richline, in Arezzo, Italy.
A number of hi-end fashion brands are getting on the wearables wagon. Some popular collaborations include Kate Spade and Fossil, Tory Burch and Fitbit, Swarovski and Misfit, Hermes and Apple, and so on.
Wearable clothing and accessories
Belty smartbelt does more than just hold your pants up—it slims or expands to adjust to granular changes to your waistline! The smartbelt comes with vibration functionality, which means that it can nag you if you are at your desk all day, or pester you about your water intake if it thinks you are not hydrated enough. This feature can be calibrated through the companion app, but it even works without a phone.
Belty Power allows you to recharge your phone when you run out of battery. It houses a rechargeable 2000mAh battery, and supports iPhones, Android phones and most devices with USB support. Belty is artisanally made by L’Aiglon, a premiere Parisian leather company founded in 1889.
Commuter Trucker Jacket
Jacquard, a Google technology, and Levi’s joined hands to create Commuter Trucker Jacket. With Jacquard, Google and Levi’s have produced a conductive yarn that combines thin metallic alloys with yarns that you typically find on clothing. Jacquard technology, which is woven into the sleeve, lets you access your digital world.
Tiny electronics in the flexible snap tag connect the Jacquard Threads in the jacket’s cuff to your mobile device. The snap tag lets you know about incoming information, such as a phone call, by giving you light and haptic feedback. Inspired by a strap that you would see on a cuff, it looks and feels like it’s a part of the jacket. The tag also houses the battery that can last up to two weeks between USB charges.
Gamergirls, by Phi Illuminated Design, features two identical, feminine dresses. It lets the wearers compete in a video game played on the opposing person’s garment. Each garment is overlaid with a detailed track pattern mimicking the familiar arcade-style gaming displays.
This pattern houses more than 400 individually-addressable RGB LED lights. With this Gamification project, the wearers compete to reach objectives in the game, getting visual feedback from each other’s dresses as objectives are reached. Special visuals are displayed when the final objective is obtained, immediately notifying the other participant that she has lost. The game is controlled using a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless phone app.
Nadi X, by Wearable X, has woven-in technology with sensors around the hips, knees and ankles to guide your flow with gentle vibrations for easier yoga. When paired with Nadi X mobile app, visual and audio cues breakdown yoga poses step-by-step with corresponding vibrations directly from the pants.
The smartpants are available in midnight (solid), midnight (with mesh), black/white (with mesh) and navy/gray (with mesh) variants.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg. The technology-fashion-electronics mash-up does not end here. There is a host of wearable products available in the market that combine style with functionality, for all your individual needs.
Polar, the GPS sports watch maker, has entered the world of smart clothing with a smart compression shirt that is designed for serious athletes.
French fashion tech company, Spinali, has created connected clothing, including jeans, dresses and swimsuits. Neviano UV Protect swimsuit collection is equipped with a removable medallion-style waterproof sensor that stops you from staying too long in the sun.
Digitsole intelligent sneakers come with auto-tightening, interactive, heating and shock-absorbing features.
Scientists at Ohio State University are working on embroidering electronics directly onto fabrics. This technology, for example, can give you Wi-Fi signals while looking stylish.