I feel like I've been talking a lot about wearable tech lately, but at the same time with it being so prevalent nowadays it seems that there is a lot to say about them. I've talked about how I didn't have an interest in them, to how I might have jumped the gun about that statement, and now I have something else I want to bring up when it comes to wearables: They can be kind of ugly.
In general, most tech enthusiasts probably prefer quality over quantity; you'd rather have something work well than look good, right? But when it comes to people who aren't really that interested in modern tech are more than likely drawn to a gadget by the way that it looks. If they're walking by a store and they see something that catches their eye, there is a better chance that they'll stop and look at it. While I can't say that I think all wearable tech looks hideous, there are definitely some design aesthetics on some wearables that could be heavily improved upon in order to speed up the adoption process among users.
In this article written by The New York Times, author Molly Burch notes that wearable technology, as of right now, doesn't always look too pleasing to the eye. Wearables have useful features that sci-fi lovers have been dying to get their hands on for ages at this point, but now that it's a reality it doesn't necessarily mean that wearables have to look like they came out of a sci-fi flick. Fashion doesn't always hold true to what you see in the movies and TV, as one could probably tell by the fact that women aren't all wearing spandex suits and gogo boots with Christmas lights on them, and men aren't all walking around looking like Iron Man clones. As cool as that might be for some people, it's just not how "standard" fashion looks nowadays (but don't let that stop you, you diva).
This might be why wearables, so far, aren't exactly popular. That is, nobody is really jumping on this technology except for people like us, because we wouldn't mind wearing a clunky watch or a wrist band that resembles a slap bracelet. We know better. This isn't just some awful-looking gadget - it does things. But for people who are more concscious about how they look, perhaps a bit of fashionable improvement could be made in order to garner more attention to them.
As specified in the same article, it is mentioned that FitBit, who are the creators of Flex and FitBit One, are planning to give their wearables a whole new makeover from designer Tory Burch. We've also seen Pebble take steps to make their smartwatch more appealing to those with an eye for fashion with their release of the Pebble Steel smartwatch earlier this year at CES. Pebble Steel, for the most part, looks like your standard watch might look. To the untrained eye, it looks perfectly normal against any other setting. The first Pebble smartwatch was remarkable when it came to features, but the design of the watch didn't exactly have much to write home about. At the time, though, performance was definitely top priority.
Which is how it should be with any piece of technology, in my opinion. Functionality first, fashion second.
But there are some wearables that I feel are probably ready to take the next step in progression, and that's working on improving software as well as the overall design. While I wouldn't say that they should completely get rid of current designs of certain wearables, as beauty is a subjective thing and people could certainly find beauty in the way that some current wearables look, I am agreeing that varying designs could be the key in making wearable technology an everday thing. People already pay big money just for exotic looking jewelry and accessories - why not make it worth the price by adding functionality? Wearables like the Shine fitness tracker seem to have the right idea when it comes to subtle wearable tech. If I were to have never seen it before, I wouldn't know any the wiser. It looks normal, it serves a purpose, and it's pretty universal.
But what do you think, dear reader? Do you think that wearables should also focus on making their designs more fashionable, or do you think wearables still have a long way to go before they should worry about something as petty as design? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!