Can Fashion Coexist With Technology? Consider The Smart Watch…
By Devon Burns, Senior Strategist, Captain Fashion
The watch is having a sort of rebirth – at least in the utilitarian sense. The advent and proliferation of smartphones ensures you always have a clock in your pocket. Watches as a means of telling time are passé. Let’s face it, they’ve transitioned from necessity to accessory. But what if your watch could do more than just tell the time? What if it became as indispensable as your smart phone?
Smart enhancements to watches are making their presence known, and range from text notifications to GPS to heart rate monitoring. The latest watches on the market do all sorts of cool things to provide you more data about your day – like how far you’ve walked or if you had a good night’s rest. But at the end of the day, no matter how many cool features you cram in, they are still totally huge and totally ugly.
It’s kind of terrifying to think with smart watches set to dominate the lifestyle and entertainment wearables market, with an anticipated 72% share by 2020, that I’m going to have to wear one of these ugly things on my wrist. I shudder at the thought.
Now, to be fair, there are some smart watches out there that have identified this market barrier of sameness and ugliness and have tried to improve upon it. The most obvious being Apple and their screen face options and varieties of finishes and bands. Could this be a reincarnation of the old-school interchangeable Swatch bands? Fitbit also partnered with high-end designer Tory Burch for a digital accessory that makes it look less like a giant rubber band on your wrist and more like a chunky bangle.
Why must utility and style be so separated with current wearables? I like technology, data and personalization, but not at the risk of ruining my personal style. As the wearables market advances we look to be on the cusp of our two great cultural drivers colliding: fashion and technology. Yes! I’m looking forward to a more mindful eye towards style and individuality than is currently present. In the meantime, I’ll have to DIY bedazzle my watch band.
So it appears the key is finding balance. We’re all total geeks at SI, meaning we sometimes allow the cool functionality and our sheer excitement over gadgets to overshadow practicality, but never, never our fashion sense.