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Wearables evolving to combine fashion and function

Lauren Brousell | Feb. 23, 2015
The intersection of fashion and fitness is the new frontier of wearable technology, a panel of fashion designers and tech experts said at the FastA/W15 event during MADE Fashion Week in New York City.

Augmented reality is moving away from a futuristic idea and toward real applications and adoption. Blum said that an augmented reality device like Microsoft HoloLens will be aimed at consumers first, but could be a game-changer in the enterprise later on.

"It has potential to be a new human computer interaction paradigm. The idea of manipulating 3D holograms with your hands is just not something we've never seen before."

The ability to visualize, demonstrate and manipulate a work process in 3D will make a huge impact, but Blum said new development of depth perception capabilities could be the tipping point. Devices like HoloLens, ODG and Daqri are ones to watch in this arena.

3. Devices should meet aesthetic and lifestyle needs

There are so many wearable devices in the market that help manage fitness, health and sports, but the ones that stick will work well and look good simultaneously.

"The device that integrates with your lifestyle, continuously adds value and informs you of new ways to make your life better will be the one that wins the race," Blum said. He also said that people will prefer a device that helps them make improvements or better decisions with data over one that doesn't.

4. Work from the same security rulebook

Developers should apply standard security best practices to wearables while considering the data they collect and who can see it. Blum said that even though you may think no one would be interested in your personal data, exercise caution.

"Today the data that's being gathered isn't that big of a deal. Russian hackers aren't trying to figure out how many steps I took," he said. But it can be a slippery slope. He suggests keeping personal and work data separate so your employer doesn't have access to your sleep or fitness data, for example. Otherwise, that health data could come back and bite you in the form of a higher health insurance rate.

Though wearables will increasingly require a stylish touch for wider adoption, Blum said "there still needs to be that hook of, 'I can't live without this thing.'"


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