We’ve all seen them. Bizarre-looking technology pieces that look like high fashion had a baby with a circuit board. We call these products wearable technology but really; how wearable are they? Most of them are unrealistic and slightly absurd. I believe that we feel an obligation to wear these products just because they incorporate technology in some way.
But what if a product could combine technology and fashion in a truly wearable way? It’s possible! Evidence of this can be found in various wearable technologies that once seemed foreign but are now popular. For example, technologies like Bluetooth, smart watches (like Pebble) or fitness monitoring devices like the Nike Fuel band are all trendy, wearable pieces of technology. Not too long ago, Bluetooth was seen as an over-the-top solution to a problem that didn’t really exist. It seemed frivolous to buy an accessory to do an action that we could already do with our own hands! But that is exactly what wearable technology does – it enhances the way we do things. We could do these things the traditional way but why not buy a device that allows more freedom, more features and more advantages?
Impractical wearable technology ideas are being redesigned and broken-down into smaller, practical applications. An excellent example of this is We-Flashy. A Kickstarter project, We-Flashy is a company that creates fashionable reflective clothing. The product is perfect for bikers and runners who believe that you can be safe and stylish at the same time. The shirts are made with industrial-grade retroreflecting material that is the same material found on crossing guard vests. It’s applied in geometric patterns and contemporary designs to make it look sleek. Instead of an electronic light-up shirt, which is heavy and expensive, We-Flashy has applied a simple technology in a smart way to produce a sensible and desirable product. Another great example of a stylish protection technology is The Invisible Bike Helmet, which offers an aesthetically pleasing solution to an important aspect of safety.
I believe that as time progresses, the focus of wearable technology will continue to shift. The extreme statement products that are now seen on fashion runways will be reevaluated and designed to fit more practical needs. Companies will take note of what We-Flashy has done by starting to provide simple, relatively inexpensive products that still accomplish the goal of wearable technology – to enhance the way we live.