Apple Watch
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“On one of the coldest days of the year, a smartly dressed woman, defying the elements, stands at one of the last remaining newsstands in Manhattan flipping through the voluminous bible of fashion that is the March issue of Vogue. Amid the pages of waifish models blissfully tossing aside $1,000 scarfs and tableaus of beauty products promising transformative powers she happens upon something completely different: another, mini-magazine, devoted to the Apple Watch.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Apple Watch
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“In a lab shut off from communication with the outside world and where visitors can’t bring in a pad of paper, let alone a phone, Apple Inc. has given some companies special early access to Apple Watch.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Apple Watch
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“The race to land coveted real estate on your wrist continued in full force this week at Mobile World Congress as both small and large tech companies released an onslaught of smartwatches.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Smartwatch
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“The Apple Watch is appearing in yet another fashion magazine, as we get ever closer to its April release. This time, it’s Chinese fashion magazine Yoho!, and the cover features American actor Archie Kao wearing a white-band Apple Watch around various “iconic” locations in California.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Apple Watch
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“It’s a Pebble Time, the smartwatch introduced by Pebble Technology on Kickstarter, where it has raised nearly $14 million. I don’t know a lot about #tech, except for my one brush with #wearables during fashion week, but to my uneducated eye they appear almost exactly the same.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Pebble x Apple Watch
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“Yes, we know a whoooole lot about the Apple Watch by this point, but not when exactly it’s coming. But now, Apple’s sent out invites for a “Spring forward” event on March 9th.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Apple Watch
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“Apple has finally firmed up its timing on the release of the hotly anticipated Apple Watch. On the company’s first quarter earnings call Tuesday afternoon, CEO Tim Cook said that the plan is to start shipping the device in April.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Apple Watch

Wearables Christmas

Image source: www.telegraph.co.uk

There’s been a lot of hype around wearables in the lead-up to Christmas, with many proclaiming a festive boom for smart watches and fitness trackers to round off 2014. But with the big day just gone, how many wearable technology devices topped consumers’ lists? And what’s the next step, after the inevitable boom of the Christmas rush gives way to a quieter January?

The contenders for the Christmas crown included Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and Gear Fit, Android Wear, Fitbit’s Charge and Jawbone Up 24; on the smartwatch side, the Moto 360 and (originally crowdfunded) Pebble are leading the charge. Wearable tech-heads will have to wait a little longer for Microsoft’s Band and Apple Watch, of course. The fitness oriented products on the market propose to track fitness and health data for the wearer, as well as make sense of that data. This core feature to wearables – the other is hands-free communication – is what attracted a 182% year-on-year increase for wearables sales at Christmas. Or at least, that’s what Samsung’s research teams projected for the season in October. Other projections included those published by Juniper Research earlier this year: their report predicted that the worldwide wearable tech industry would increase from 27 million device shipments in 2014, to a whopping 116 million in 2017.

Whilst the retail numbers aren’t in to show whether wearables have really fared as well as predicted over their first commercial Christmas, there are a few clues as to whether wearable tech enthusiasm has truly hit the mainstream. Although there’s clearly been a massive increase in awareness about wearables, that doesn’t mean they have necessarily made their way to Santa’s list – in fact, Ipsos Mori and its Tech Tracker find that only 1% of adults claim to own or use a Smartwatch in the UK, and that half of those people who are aware of models such as the Pebble simply don’t see a need for such a device.

There are a few factors going into 2015 that will make mainstream wearables a more realistic prospect. New platforms for developers to create apps that enable end-users to reap the rewards of wearables will emerge, making their assimilation into daily personal or working life all the more likely. Moreover, fitness and health trackers need to work harder to influence users’ behaviour if they’re really going to have an impact on health and fitness – a call that the industry is sure to answer now that uptake of early devices are so promising. Perhaps most influential will be the release of the Apple Watch (slated for “early 2015”, still) – after all, Apple do have a canny knack for being the first to bring a technology to market and simultaneously totally convincing everyone that it is a necessity. Besides, with fitness trackers currently making headway as the market leader, maybe January won’t be so quiet after all… New Year’s Resolution to exercise more, anyone?

Reported by Claire Healy

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Purple Locket
Image source: artefactgroup.com

Much like the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trends of the fashion and beauty worlds, technology comes and goes: from the iPod classic to the kitchen radio, technological obsolescence is a fast fact of our daily existence. In light of this constantly shifting tech scene, can there ever be such a thing as a digital heirloom? Certain proponents of wearable technology would respond with a confident yes.

Indeed, a growing number of start-ups believe that the future of ‘wearables’ should start with traditional design, with ‘smart’ functionality remaining secondary. In a scene that has seen the most noise around the Apple Watch, Sony has responded with an E-Ink watch that uses customisable electronic paper. The creators of Nike Fuelband, meanwhile, are working on old-fashioned wristwatches under their Minus-8 line.

But it’s not just watch designers that are turning to tradition in a bid to commercialize the marriage between technology and fashion. The wedding ring – that most traditional, and priceless, of accessories – is in prime position for a digital makeover. Royal College of Art graduate Alice Wang has designed a wedding ring that replaces the traditional diamond with a digital display: showing a digital countdown of the number of days the couple agree to be married for – needless to say, “forever” doesn’t apply.

Perhaps a more appealing prospect is a conceptual smart locket from design studio Artefact Group. Their smart locker presents a 21st-century update of traditional heirloom jewellery, as it wirelessly interacts with the wearer’s social networks to digitally display photographs of friends and family. The design team behind the Purple Locket is currently exploring options for bringing the design to the commercial market, but it remains a concept for the time being.

Reported by Claire Healy

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“The tech giant is hiring new fashion-focused staff for its brick and mortar stores, according to a report — and that could change the way the Apple store looks forever.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Apple Watch