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Intel Joins Fashion World, Introduces Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is about to benefit from a powerful collaboration between computing technology leader Intel, Barneys New York, international fashion design house and curator Opening Ceremony and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Intel announced the collaboration yesterday, saying that the four would work together to explore and bring to market smart, wearable technology and to foster dialogue and increased collaboration between the fashion and technology industries.

Ayse Ildeniz, vice president of Business Development and Strategy for Intel’s New Devices Group said, “Through these initiatives we will combine Intel’s leading technologies with Opening Ceremony’s design prowess, Barneys New York’s track record to identify the next consumer trends, and CFDA’s commitment to advance innovation within the fashion industry.” She added, “Our shared vision is to accelerate wearable technology innovation and create products that both enhance peoples’ lives and are desirable to wear.”

For the group’s first project, Open Ceremony and Intel will partner to design and develop a smart bracelet to be sold at Barneys, making the luxury retailer one of the first to carry a smart accessory.

The hope is that Barneys’ merchandising expertise will help showcase wearable technology in a way that will increase its appeal among more fashion conscious consumers and “bring the reality of smart fashion to life.”

CFDA CEO Steven Kolb said, “CFDA’s commitments are to drive innovation in the fashion industry and as we look at the power of technology and its influence on fashion, we believe technology will need to be part of the fashion industry’s DNA.”

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Intel will also partner with CFDA to create a networking environment for technology developers and fashion designers to encourage the exchange of ideas.

Intel has been working toward further developments in wearable technology and,  at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas taking place this January 7-10, Intel highlighted several new products and initiatives.

At the conference, Rest Devices, makers of the Mimo Baby line of bodysuit baby monitors, displayed how they’ve condensed all computing intelligence into a baby onesie and eliminated the need for an external device with Intel technology. The company also managed to reduce the size of its smart bottle warmer by almost half.

Intel has introduced a “Make It Wearable” challenge to further encourage innovation with Intel technology.

“The global effort will call upon the smartest and most creative minds to consider factors impacting the proliferation of wearable devices and ubiquitous computing, such as meaningful usages, aesthetics, battery life, security and privacy,” according to Intel.

Winners will receive more than $1.3 million in cash awards and will also be connected with industry leaders who will help winners develop their respective ideas.