Bethan Holt | Contributor | Thursday, 1 January 2015

2015 Will Be The Year Of Wearable Tech, So Here's Some You Actually Might Want To Wear

The Debrief: Think of it as a Casio, but for for now

Now that we’re all safely addicted to our iPhones, big tech companies and plucky startups have moved onto their next plan - wearables. TBH, this wearable technology always sounded like a bit of a gimmick which could make you look and feel like an extra from Star Trek.

However, thanks to a bit of clever design and excellent collaborating with the fashion world, it looks like there will soon be quite a variety of stylish jewellery with an added tech bonus.

The first major wearable launch came last year with Google Glass which, let’s admit, looks less edgy specs and more lab technician. Glass teamed up with Diane Von Furstenberg to create a fashion version of the sleek design which she debuted during her SS14 show and which you could then buy on Net-a-Porter. Loads of fashion editors even experimented with them on the front row. The plus? They took brilliant photos and let you look stuff up quickly and easily without having to reach for your phone. The minus? Well, all the winking and twitching involved in activating Google Glass can leave you looking like you’re either a little bit tipsy or are suffering some kind of seizure.  So the jury’s out on those, especially with recent reports claiming sales have stalled.

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It was really during the September fashion weeks that wearable tech went from a science world buzzword to actual fashion trend. Apple orchestrated an Apple watch campaign launch which was nothing short of genius. They flew some of the industry’s most influential players including Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman and Net-a-Porter’s Natalie Massenet to Cupertino, California for the grand unveiling, forcing them to miss New York Fashion Week. Then, a couple of weeks later at the peak of the Paris shows, they hosted a special breakfast preview at the Colette boutique (basically the coolest shop in Paris) which was attended by Karl Lagerfeld, just half an hour before he was supposed to be showing his Spring/Summer collection for Chanel. Cue excellent photo opp with Karl and Anna Wintour gazing lovingly at the new innvovation. Oh, and it’s already appeared on the cover of Chinese Vogue.

The Apple watch made fashion naysayers get serious about wearable tech because this was a product which actually looked really good, rather than resembling the bulky timepiece a stats obsessed athlete would use to plot out their split times. It’s sleek, beautiful and comes in very a very Celine mushroom shade as well as chic navy or pristine white.  The brains behind the Apple watch design is Marc Newson, a renowned product designer who also happens to be married to mega fashion stylist, Charlotte Stockdale. 

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Elsewhere at the shows, Opening Ceremony used the NYFW show to launch their MICA bracelet. It stands for My Intelligent Communication Accessory and to the naked eye simply looks like a fabulous jewelled cuff. In fact, OC worked with Intel- you know, the ones with the swooshy music on computer ads- to build in features which alert you when you receive messages and e-mails from important contacts and lets you scan your diary. The bracelets were fully launched this week with a cute film starring Rashida Jones. Opening Ceremony are clearly getting serious about wearable tech as they also have a very cool varsity jacket in store now with a in-built phone charger as part of a collab with Mophie. 

So now that it seems pretty certain wearable tech is definitely going to be a thing, what should you invest in?

1. Plumora- A bracelet inspired by the shape of a peacock feather which connects to your phone and can be programmed to alert you when you get messages and calls from pre-programmed people- so if you’re on holiday, work stuff can be screened out. Pre-order for 2015 now. 

2. MICA- Opening Ceremony’s wearable has major fashion kudos but also seems like it could prove digitally useful too. It launches in the US in Decemeber, priced at $495 but no work on a UK release just yet. 

3. Jawbone- This is the fitness wearable which seems to be winning in the fashion stakes with its super slimline design. It’s the Up24 style which looks the sleekest and has been claimed to help you live, sleep and eat better, £99

4.  Altruis by Kovert - Rings, bracelets and necklaces which are designed, conversely, to help you switch off. The jewellery aims to separate you from your phone but important people can still reach you. Prices start at £320.

5. Applewatch- The Edition style is the one you want, landing in the UK early next year with a rumoured starting price of £300. 

6. Ringly- 18k gold rings which vibrate when you receive a notification on your phone. Prices start at $195

7. Ringtheory- Very cool looking statement rings which can be built to contain your contactless card chip so you can pay for your Pret or swipe into the tube with just the ring on your finger. Unfortunately these are still in development for the UK but contact the team directly for bespoke order. From $25. 

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