ff_wearables9_largeWe are on the cusp of a new era that is about to explode into our lives with even more social behavior changing impact than did the i-phone and its Android counterparts over the last 5 years. With Wearable Smart Devices, fashion consciousness will become even more important to market success than just great brand identifying industrial design and instant data delivery.  Designers will have to enable multiple stylistic variations of any product to appeal to consumers demand for uniqueness.

Photo: Ian Allen

The January 2014 edition of WIRED Magazine has a fascinating article written by Bill Wasik entitled “Google Glass was just the beginning. A new generation of wearable tech is coming – and it will transform the way you experience the world”. https://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/12/wearable-computers/

Excerpts from the article:
Smartphones didn’t really take off until the advent of the iPhone, a device that launched an aesthetic transformation in the tech industry, as design went from an afterthought to a corporate necessity, a core competency prized no less than the ability to make a faster chip or stable operating system. Wearable devices—technology that people will want to display on their bodies, for all to see—represent a new threshold in aesthetics. The tech companies that mastered design will now need to conquer the entirely different realm of fashion.

The problem with Google Glass is not that it’s bad industrial design. Google, like the rest of Silicon Valley, has learned a great deal about how to make an aesthetically pleasing product. But Glass is meant to be a highly visible addition to someone’s body as they walk around in public. That demands more than just a gorgeous product; it demands a fashionable product.  Now tech companies will be competing in product categories—wristwatches, glasses, other fashionable accessories—where even the least fashion-conscious consumers demand a great degree of uniqueness and variety.