Wearables and Technology

This post is an excerpt from ‘The Business of Fasion Daily Digest’. More information can be found at the link below.


wearables & technology co-founders of Opening Ceremony

pictured are Carol Lim & Humberto Leon, cofounders of Opening Ceremony on the left and Brian Kranich, chief executive of Intel on the right







LAS VEGAS, United States — Wearables, wearables, wearables. This emerging category of personal accessories with embedded sensors, displays and other digital technology (such as Nike’s FuelBand, Google’s Internet-connected eyewear and Apple’s rumoured iWatch) was the most talked-about topic this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s biggest technology and gadgets gathering. And the fashion community, which has been noticeably absent from the wearables revolution, seemed to finally take notice when Brian Krzanich, chief executive of Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, announced that the company was set to kick off a series of collaborations, focused on wearable tech, with fashion industry leaders Opening Ceremony, Barneys New York and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

The fashion collaborations will result in the development of a “smart bracelet” designed by Opening Ceremony, powered by Intel technology and sold exclusively, this autumn, at influential retailer Barneys New York. The product will be based upon existing Intel prototypes, but the final feature set, aesthetic characteristics and price point of the device have yet to be determined.

Intel and the Council of Fashion Designers of America have also joined forces to facilitate much needed interaction between technologists and fashion designers with the broad aim of fostering innovation in wearable devices.

“Our shared vision is to accelerate wearable technology innovation and create products that both enhance people’s lives and are desirable to wear,” said Ayse Ildeniz, vice president of business development and strategy at Intel’s New Devices Group, in a statement.

Intel declined to disclose how much it was investing in these collaborations, though Krzanich said the company would fund a competition that will offer wearable technology developers $1.3 million in prizes. (Intel, which dominated the market for the microchips that power PCs but was slow to adapt to the rise of post-PC devices like smartphones and tablets, has a vital strategic interest in wearables and other next-generation devices which it hopes will make use of its new ultra-small, low-power chips).

According to Credit Suisse, the market for wearables, currently concentrated in health and fitness and estimated to be worth between $3 billion and $5 billion, is set to explode, reaching $30 billion to $50 billion over the next three to five years, as chips, sensors and battery life improve and an ecosystem of entrepreneurs start to build thousands of apps and services on top of wearable devices, just as they have done for smartphones. The financial services company has gone so far as to call wearable technology “a mega trend” that has hit “at an inflection point in market adoption” and will have “a significant and pervasive impact on the economy.”

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