Never heard of wearable tech? Well, listen up because this growing trend may forever change the fashion we know.
When we think of wearable technology our brains usually stop at smart watches that count our steps, sleeping pattern and heart rate but what about a technology comprehensive dress, a bikini designed to absorb pollution from the sea or a smart sports bra that gives you instant workout tips? Ever think of that?
Earlier this year Cute Circuit, a wearable technology brand that is the leader in interactive fashion, created a graphene dress in collaboration with The National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester.
The Shoreditch-based brand that specialises in smart textiles created this ‘smart dress’ made from graphene, a material said to be the strongest lightest and most conductive. The dress changes appearance according to the interaction of the person wearing the garment. It also measures heart rate and is linked to an app created by the company. The brand’s haute couture collection has been worn by the likes of Katy Perry, Nicole Scherzinger and Fergie.
Though companies like Cute Circuit, OMsignal (creators of the smart sports bra), Apple, Google and Nike all strive to create wearable technology, the biggest question and difficulty they may face is the accessibility of the wearable designs as tech garments cost more in production and therefore are sold at a higher price.
We begin to wonder if all these products will be able to be mass produced for the general public and if there is a genuine market for them that goes beyond research. Do we actually want to invest in wearable tech or does it remain a childhood fantasy that started with Marty Mcfly’s self-lacing trainers that appear in the Back to the Future trilogy?
Zoe Mills, Analyst at Global Data said: ” Wearable technology has been around for a number of years now, but the popularity of these products is yet to wane. The introduction of the Apple Watch in 2013 was one of the pivotal moments in this market, bringing this category to a wider audience.
“There remains a high demand for these products, but growth is beginning to slow down in this category, particularly as consumers are faced with inflation in other sectors such as food & grocery, they do not have as much disposable income to spend on these treat purchases. Nevertheless, the fitness trend remains and will continue to see more consumers buying into this trend and updating their current fitness bands in the future.”
This proves true with the Apple watch seeing a significant 72% drop in shipment numbers in 2016 according to an IDC report.
“There are a number of fashion players investing in this trend now, with the likes of Michael Kors having their own fitness watches, however, these are a niche and the majority of consumers are looking for the lower prices fitness bands from brands such as Fitbit and Garmin rather than smart watches.”
How far can we expect this trend to go in the fitness device market?
“In terms of fitness bands we have seen improvements to existing designs, for example, Fitbit released the Alta HR adding heart rate monitoring to its device. However, there is not much further that companies can really go into terms of functionality now. What we may begin to see instead is fitness bands able to connect with a number of smart devices in the home, for example being able to interact with Amazon Echo.” she adds
OUR FAVOURITE WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY PIECES