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Get Smart: Function Must Meet Fashion in Future of Wearable Tech

Diane von Furstenberg and Google Glass; Tory Burch and Fitbit; Opening Ceremony and Intel; Rebecca Minkoff and Case-Mate; there’s been no shortage of fashion-design talent helping tech companies turn smart devices into something truly wearable.

And now that the stylish stage has been set for the future of fitness trackers and smartwatches, beauty is just as important as brains, according to a recent report from Italian analytics firm Fashionbi.

The study, titled “Wearable Technology: How Fashion, Luxury and Activewear Brands Monetize Innovations,” pointed out that looks matter and soon “gathered data will be provided to the wearer in a more invisible way, which will both prevent the nerdy look and will ease the wearability of the device.”

The report also predicted that while current wearables are designed to gather stats and send them to a smartphone or computer, fully autonomous devices that connect directly to the internet (think: Google Glass and the Apple Watch) will become de riguer and price points will drop, resulting in people wearing multiple gadgets at once. “Consumers with more wearables than ever will need the control in their hands,” the report said.

To get to that point, however, expect collaborations between technology and fashion companies to increase and “wearable solar panels, heart-tracker jewelry, sound-reactor helmets, phone charger accessories and many others to take more aesthetic shapes and designs so that haute tech can be as fashionable as its functionality.”

“If your beautiful watch or handbag can act as a portable charger or a fitness tracker, too, imagine how much more of an appeal it will add to the product,” Ambika Zutshi, Fashionbi CEO, told Luxury Daily. “Plus, it’s a proven fact that a tech enthusiast is ready to spend big bucks on new technology that is to satisfy his needs. Add fashion to it and the value doubles.”