Do you remember the first time you watched the movie ‘Back to the Future II’? When Michael J. Fox’s character, the infamous Marty McFly, with the click of a button was able to have his jacket adjust from a size XXL to the perfect fit? Or the time he put on his Nike high-tops only for them to recognize he had stepped into them and therefore tying themselves? In the modern age this may have been the first reference to smart and wearable technology.
Fast forward to current day and we see wearable technology around us at all times. From Nike Fuel Bands to the almost-available Apple Watch to Google Glasses, the way we interact with our wearables is more accessible and useful than ever. As defined by Webopedia, wearable technology is a category of technology devices that can be worn by a consumer and often include tracking information related to health and fitness. I would argue that it goes beyond that. It’s not limited to true technology gadgets but also to how our clothing interacts with us.
This could be based a wicking material that wicks away moisture while retaining body heat in the cold or a shirt that repells stains or could be considered high-fashion and was made by a 3D printer.
Regardless of your stance on wearable technology, at some point we’ll all embrace it so why not do it willingly! Here are 5 key considerations when integrating wearable technology in your daily life.
1. How far is too far? The world of wearable technology is expanding so rapidly that it seems nearly impossible to keep up with. This category seems relatively new, which is spot on, but there will be a tipping point where we see that everyone has bought in. It’s now just a waiting game to see how integrated this new offering becomes and how quickly. Not many of us will be early adopters of all that becomes available but just think for a second who you know that has a Jawbone. Five years ago that may not have been the case.
2. To what extent does this impact your life socially? It’s obvious that there are real benefits to enhancements to current products and the invention of new products but to what extent will this impact your life? Think back to when you got your first smartphone. Many of us out there haven’t looked up since…
3. Technology integrated with clothing is cool! In first quarter of 2015 Proforma held its annual series of Regional Meetings. At that meeting, a vendor partner of ours made the point that technology is truly integrated with clothing. As an example, take a look around your office. How many of your coworkers have a shirt or polo on that is made of a wicking material? Just a few short years ago this wasn’t the case. Wicking clothing was made exclusively for working out. It’s now part of everyday life, and in some cases it is considered business casual.
4. 3D printers are the real deal. 3D printers can pretty much do it all. From artificial organs and limbs, to edibles and clothing, there are no limitations to how far we’ll push these insanely cool machines. They make prototyping in the automotive industry quicker and easier, and are now making high fashion items effortlessly.
5. Can consumers monetize? According to Forbes, wearable technology is integrating with everyday consumer’s health insurance. Today, it may just your physician to access your records in real time but tomorrow it may start putting more dollars back in your pocket.
• Promo Marketing Magazine, Apple Watch Accessories: What to Expect: http://magazine.promomarketing.com/article/3-apple-watch-accessories-look-out-for
• Promo Marketing Magazine, This Self-Cleaning Shirt Is the Only White Tee You’ll Ever Need: http://magazine.promomarketing.com/aggregatedcontent/this-self-cleaning-shirt-is-only-white-tee-youll-ever-need
• Promo Marketing Magazine, These3D Printed Clothes Are Pretty Amazing: http://magazine.promomarketing.com/aggregatedcontent/these-3-d-printed-clothes-are-pretty-amazing
• CNBC.com, Nike confirms ‘Back to the Future II’ shoe release: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102330455
• Wired.com, Why Wearable Tech Will Be As Big As The Smartphone: http://www.wired.com/2013/12/wearable-computers/
• Forbes, Wearable Tech Is Plugging Into Heath Insurance: http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/06/19/wearable-tech-health-insurance/
• The Detroit News, Automakers play catch-up to wearable technology: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2015/03/17/automakers-play-catch-wearable-technology/24938847/