Dreaming of Tech Silk

The Age of Wearable Technology is upon us. REALLY?!


Wearable Technology, also known as wearables and wearable tech, is a mobile, non-stationary computing device fitted for the body providing communication, interaction, and information to the user. The two main categories of wearables are smartwatches and smart clothing. Wearable technology will affect our appearance as well as public interaction. The potential market for wearable technology is massive but questions remain: Is there a real need for wearable technology or is it just the latest tech hype looking for the next Big Thing? Are wearables a form of futurism that may never come? As of 2016 wearable tech feels more like concepts or unfinished blueprints rather than solid products. In order for wearable devices to become successful brands should consider combing the wearer’s needs, desires, social status, and usefulness instead of focusing on technical possibilities or the next killer application compatibility aspects. So far tech and style are still struggling to meet the challenges of personalisation, obtrusive size, wearer needs, and the strange user public interaction.

Reasons for Doubt

Technology is accepted for two reasons, first, they create a new need. Secondly, the performance of the device is overwhelmingly better than others. So far, neither of these criteria’s have been met in the wearable fields. Better, faster, and smaller are the ethics for devices.The continued miniaturization of technology means smart devices, in particular smartwatches, will get smaller but usage issues remains. Who can forget the image of Apple Watch user holding his device to his ear or Google Glasses required the wearer to blink or motion the head for a command a function. In public these interactions look embarrassing. Wearable Technology involving direct connection to the body, biological upgrading with technology of blending physical with digital will connect all. Man and machine interfacing as one. Motion detected clothing reacting to movements and gestures as well as data collection to make the wearer a more efficient person are new possibilities with intelligent fabrics that change colors and patterns are also on the horizon. Big tech companies are aspiring for looks integrating technology with clothing. Results have not been positive. Buyers appear hesitant, a lack of excitement. Their expectations and desires have not been met by what is currently available. Could wearable technology become the next Betamax or Segway? Time, design, style, and consumer taste will tell.

The authors of this article do not suffer from techophobia nor are they anti-wearable, just two people waiting for a compelling reason to buy something wearable.