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Wearable Tech: Fashion Will Rule
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Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
6/18/2014 | 11:26:57 AM
Clunkers
I agree that I would feel self-conscious wearing a big, clunky wearable on my wrist. Wrist devices must be sleek in order to appeal to the many people who don't even wear big watches. Proportion matters. A Pebble looks different on different people.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
6/18/2014 | 11:27:32 AM
Design wins
The Internet of things will push some companies to design customer-facing software systems for the first time. Makers of industrial products might dismiss "fashion" as too fancy a notion for its products, but it's hard to overstate the importance of design when it comes to customer-facing mobile interfaces, for example.  
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
6/18/2014 | 11:58:08 AM
Re: Design wins
The other way to go is not to build up the sensor into something fashionable but let it disappear into the clothing. That's the idea behind the small, flexible sensors made by MC10. 
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
6/18/2014 | 12:20:18 PM
Re: Design wins
Ariella, that seems much more sensible for devices you wear to work out, for example. Weave the tiny sensor into the shoes or the t-shirt. Of course Fitbit is not clunky. I wonder if we won't see more devices that look like a jewelry locket also.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
6/18/2014 | 12:25:47 PM
Body AND brains
Wearables are unique in that they're not like an accessory, they ARE an accessory. So I agree with the writer's assessment that wearables should be sleek and eye-catching. But not at the expense of tech brains and guts. It may be tempting to quickly release gorgeous hardware. But if the beauty is skin-deep (as beautiful things often are) users will bail. All wearable makers should keep the Apple model in mind: Look great, but work great.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
6/18/2014 | 12:28:47 PM
Re: Design wins
@Laurianne yes, they can be put into clothes, which leaves a lot more options for where the sensor can be beyond the wrist. Currently, the company has a product to monitor impact on athletes with a sensor in a cap. It's coproduced with Reebook and called Checklight
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Strategist
6/18/2014 | 2:53:50 PM
Re: Design wins
I agree. I have noticed that techno enthusiasts focus solely on the features.  But, the appearence of the devices is as important at the features. A lesson it seems it is difficult to grasp.  I think wearable devices won't become mainstream until they are design on appearance and features.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
6/18/2014 | 4:50:42 PM
Hidden is key
No wearable will go with everything, so the key to me is being able to put it in my pocket or, if I don't have a pocket, clip it inside a shirt or waistband. Heck, why can't someone makes one that attaches like a patch?
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
6/19/2014 | 2:25:09 PM
Re: Hidden is key
We're starting to see those, Lorna. Here's a heartrate monitor that's worn as a stick-on patch:  

http://mobihealthnews.com/29484/aetna-now-reimburses-for-irhythms-zio-patch/
colorblindjames01
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colorblindjames01,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2014 | 10:28:58 AM
The internet of things will be invisible
The internet of things, for the most part, will be invisible. The purpose of IoT is to free us from the internet. The problem with many of todays wearables is that they don't free users from the web but instead do the opposite and make it increasingly interrupt our daily lives.

Fashion is important but not as important as providing an important service. Most of us today only use a small fraction of the features of our smartphones. Unless wearables can provide an essential or important services they will be no more than niche products.

My blog on this is here.

 
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