Aug 24, 2016
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Fashion update: the retailers getting on board with wearable tech

Aug 24, 2016

As technology advances inexorably, the domination of wearables seems increasingly inevitable. And it seems that the mainstream fashion industry is gradually waking up to the necessity to embrace the trend, teaming up with tech brands to ensuring that their trackers, smart devices and other connected items acquiesce with the rules of stylish design.

The Fitbit Alta family of "fashion-forward" fitness wristbands©FitBit

With tech brands such as Fitbit and Jawbone straining to streamline and polish their products in order to reposition themselves as stylish accessories, several retail brands are also embracing the strategy of incorporating connected items into their collections.

This week British clothing giant Topshop unveiled the winner of its 'Top Pitch' competition, a wearable tech bootcamp program aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs and gaining exposure for them in the fashion industry. The retailer will now work with the winner, The Crated, on designing a prototype for a heated garment, Gadgets and Wearables reports. The two additional finalists, Luma Legacy and Pins Collective, which produce memory-sharing charms and digital badges respectively, will continue to receive mentoring from the high street chain.

New York label Kate Spade also got on board with the trend this week, announcing plans to unveil a debut collection of connected wearables for the fall. According to WWD, the brand has been working on a hybrid smartwatch, a bangle-inspired tracker and a silicone tracker designed specifically for women, with features including sleep tracking, music control and time zone updates.

September will see the release of Hugo Boss's first collection of smart watches, which will be available in two different men's styles, while the MIT Media Lab and Microsoft Research are already thinking one step ahead and are moving their experiments into the realm of the beauty industry. On the back of the success of metallic flash tattoos, the two design giants have created 'DuoSkin', an on-skin device that resembles a temporary gold or silver leaf transfer but transforms the skin into an interactive interface. It is a measure of just how far the wearable tech concept has come since its debut -- and although it is hard to predict its future, one thing looks certain: being connected is about to get a lot more fashionable. 

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