Wearable tech needs to be functional and irresistible

Because who really wants an awesome spec-ed wearable that looks Plain Jane
Wearable tech needs to be functional and irresistible

It gives you control of your other tech without you having to whip out all your 101 devices and it’s an extension of your smart phone. If we haven’t made what we’re talking about obvious already, we’ll spell it out for you – it’s wearable tech.

But wearable tech’s not all just about having a remote control to your smart devices, it needs to look good and be a fashion accessory for someone to consider wearing it. Why? Because it’s personal.

That was the topic of discussion at one of the TechTalk sessions at Spikes Asia in Suntec Singapore, where Stuff’s very own editor-in-chief, Will Findlater, e27 editor, Surender Dhaleta, and Stream Media managing director, Chua Zi Yong, presented.

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According to Findlater, wearable devices are the next big thing, especially smartwatches but there have been a few barriers to mass adoption recently. People claim those currently in the market aren’t fashionable enough, require daily charging, as well as cost more than what they’re willing to fork out for one.

As such, he highlighted the importance for tech companies to partner with fashion houses to get the best of both worlds and offer consumers with choice in design. For example, Intel’s recently partnered up with Barney’s New York, Opening Ceremony, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America for its upcoming wearables.      

“It’s not about creating one device, but creating choice with esthetics. Wearables need to be an expression of our individual tastes so let the fashion companies do all the hard work in terms of design, because tech companies aren’t used to tackling that sort of choice,” he said.

Nothing comes without challenges

Wearable tech needs to be functional and irresistible

Dhaleta added that the challenges of working on a small screen, a multitude of devices talking to these wearables, and having a price point people are willing to pay needs to be worked through.  

Yong claimed that people need to start seeing the value of these gadgets as medium for micro-interactions, which means you don’t need to keep taking out your phone or tablet that it’s connected to and it also means you’re constantly connected with information without needing to put in any extra effort.

“Before you consider a wearable, you’ve got to make sure it’s personal, contextual, it provides opportunities for micro-interactions, and insightful details. Like Google Now on Android Wear – it retrieves information from my emails and prompts me when I need to board my flight, etc.”

The key thing we can carry away with us from this is that it might take while (about another 12 months according to Dhaleta), but just like smartphones, the future for wearable technology is massive so make sure you don’t get left behind. 

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