Hearing that wearable technology was one of the biggest take aways from SXSW, I was a little taken back. Yes, I’m extremely interested in technology and fashion (especially in the fitness space) but I consider myself a very grass roots or old-school type of person. I have always preferred to keep technology, fitness and fashion activities exclusive (or at least I though I did). I’m quite primal and I believe athletic efforts should be more organic and unmeasured, especially due to all the studies on the hazards of keeping electromagnetic currents near our person. This being said, the moment I started researching more about wearable technology I quickly discovered I’ve actually been wearing technology from the dawn of its inception.
The calculator watch… Had it. How cool was it that in the1980s you could perform complex mathematical equations from your wrists. This was an essential gadget for a remunerative paperboy of the time. My elderly, out of touch, school teachers had no idea why verbally I was stumped but on paper I was a mathematical genius. The watches advanced exponentially and were soon capable of performing more complicated functions, picking up radio signals and even storing data.
Enter little spy. Thanks to Radio Shack, at an early age (and far too deep within my adulthood) I had dabbled into the art of undercover agent: picking locks, hacking computers, tapping phones and wearing concealed microphones and recording devices. I wouldn’t leave the house unwired. Bringing me full circle was the Casio camera watch: this new piece of technology took up most of my free time for many years there after. To this day those 180×180 pixel, black and white photos are still cherished and continue to be used in a multitude of projects.
A couple of years ago I started wearing my iPod Shuffle as a tie clip. It was the thin aluminium version and no one realized what it was unless my headphones were attached. I thought this both convenient and quite clever of myself. Like the watch, my pseudo tie clip “wore” out and instead of hunting down a replacement I accepted and respected its life span. This is something we just aren’t seeing in fashion anymore: everything makes a comeback. I’m sure there’s a hipster out there rocking an ironic cassette walkman, but for the most part we can count on wearable technology as being something that will continually become outdated.
Today we have Bluetooth cufflinks and earrings, electroluminescent and smart textiles, head to toe body monitors and glasses that see and do everything. If you need to be in the know of what’s both current and on it’s way, you can check out our Pinterest board for a visual representation of how to stay electronically in vogue. I was wrong when thinking wearable technology didn’t pertain to me. It’s true you won’t catch me modelling USB heated socks or gloves but I did recently rig up an old military pouch so I could hang my iPhone stylishly from my belt. Technology is everywhere and even mandatory in many of our modern lives. It’s not always easy to notice when done well because it’s invisible and incorporated seamlessly as an extension of ourselves.