The global fashion brand Diane von Furstenberg opened their fashion show in September of 2012 in New York. This fashion show had a something unique that set it apart from other shows. What made this show different is that it featured Google Glass. Although it has already been 3 years, it is safe to say that this was truly a time when an IT product became a fashion item.
Wearing IT, Wearable Devices
IT products have become quite significant as fashion items in the form of wearable devices. The term wearable device refers to an IT product that is worn on the body. The MIT Media Lab defines wearable devices as ‘an item that is worn on the body that is designated to perform computing and includes applications that can perform computing functions.’ In other words, the definition of a wearable device in the modern world has expanded to include everything from mobile devices that are held in the user’s hand to computing products that are worn on the body.
The majority of wearable devices are accessories such as glasses, watches, bracelets or necklaces, but there are also wearable devices found in shoes and tee-shirts. Because of this trend, wearable devices are also being recognized as fashion items. When wearable devices become fashion items, design also becomes an important factor since people will wear the devices and show them to others.
There was a lot of interest in wearable devices at MWC (Mobile World Conference) 2013 as well. The focus of wearable devices at MWC was design. Companies were putting considerable effort into increasing their production lines and improving designs to change the thickness and quality of their products.
Companies Focusing on Design
1) LG Electronics G Watch Urbane
In 2007, LG Electronics had a collaboration with a luxury brand PRADA to create the LG PRADA phone. The LG PRADA phone combined the world’s first touch phone with refined design and received a lot of attention around the world. Since then, LG Electronics has put considerable effort into product design. The LG G Watch was created as a result of these efforts. The G Watch, which maintains the feel of an analogue watch, received attention and great reviews at MWC 2015.
The G Watch Urbane has a more refined appearance than its predecessor, the G Watch R. It is also available in gold and silver and has a luxurious feel with its metal body and natural stitched leather. It stands apart from other smart watches with its analogue design.
2) Apple Watch
Apple is well known for the ‘simplicity’ of their design philosophy. Apple stayed true to this philosophy with the Apple Watch as well. Before the release of the Apple Watch, Apple recruited not only Yves Saint Laurent CEO, Paul Deneve, but also other distinguished fashion brand executives. Thus, buzz around about the Apple Watch heated up when the watch was announced last year. There is a wide range of options from which users can choose. This watch is not merely a simple smart device but has been positioned as a fashion watch and shows Apple’s efforts to establish a foothold in the market.
3) Google Glass
The most prominent wearable device is Google Glass, which offers reality augmenting technology in the form of glasses. Google Glass sales have been halted due to bugs in the technology and issues concerning invasion of privacy. It is impossible to deny that when people think of wearable devices, the image of Google Glass is likely what comes to mind.
Google cooperated with fashion brands when developing Google Glass in order to improve the design. The resulting of ‘DVF | Made for Glass’ showed the possibilities of Google Glass being a fashion item. In 2014, the Italian glasses brand Luxottica worked with Google to develop Google Glass from development to sales. Even though Google Glass is not yet available on the market, Google is receiving attention for their emphasis on design.
There are also many other examples of fashion companies and IT coming together. It is impressive how IT developed our convenience and is also satisfying our aesthetic instincts. IT is now an essential factor in our lives. With this development, design will become a core factor in opening IT up to many new possibilities.
Written by Yoonjung Choi, University reporter for LG CNS