CES 2015 & Fashion Sense: Wearables Need to be Invisibles


2015 01 07 13 13 04

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is featuring a lot of “wearables” reports Techcrunch (above) (which all seem to be smart watches).

Foremski’s Take: All the fuss over Apple Watch will certainly help sell a lot of watches – regular and smart. I recently started wearing a normal watch.

I like the watch, not because I can look up the time but I like the way it looks. And that’s a decision based on personal style. I might decide in a few months to stop wearing it. A decision that has nothing to do with the performance of the watch.

And that’s why “wearables” need to become separated from the whims of personal style and fashion and disappear into the fabric of our lives. If our personal technologies become invisible no longer become objects of fashion — they can last longer than a season, and manufacturers can worry about the tech and not about becoming unfashionable.

Also, if our personal technologies become invisible they longer create the same social problems with others, such as those encountered by Google Glass wearers.

But “invisibles” won’t come from a company such as Apple. Apple is very much a fashion brand, it makes its products distinctive and very visible. Its purchase of the Beats headphone brand underlines its fashion focus and it is how it can charge a premium. Becoming invisible would be impossible for Apple.

Invisible personal technologies will likely come from companies such as Google, which is interested in selling web services and not in selling hardware.

– – –

My tongue-in-cheek proposal for a new type of wearable is an “unmentionable.” The underwear has several regions that silently buzz notifications from your smart phone. You’ll know if you have a message from your boss or your lover depending on if it’s your back side or front side that buzzes.



Tom Foremski
Tom Foremski is the Editor and Founder of the popular and top-ranked news site Silicon Valley Watcher, reporting on business and culture of innovation. He is a former journalist at the Financial Times and in 2004, became the first journalist from a leading newspaper to resign and become a full-time journalist blogger.

Tom has been reporting on Silicon Valley and the US tech industry since 1984 and has been named as one of the top 50 (#28) most influential bloggers in Silicon Valley. His current focus is on the convergence of media and technology — the making of a new era for Silicon Valley. He also writes a column at ZDNET.
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