Wearable Technology

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - UV Patch
Image source: L’Oréal

French beauty giant L’Oréal has developed a smart skin patch that monitors exposure to ultraviolet rays. The innovative beauty solution was unveiled at consumer technology show CES in Las Vegas this week.

My UV Patch is transparent, flexible, and thinner than a plaster. The stick-on wearable is infused with photosensitive blue dye that changes colour when exposed to UV rays. Wearers can then take a photo of the patch and upload it to an app for a full assessment.

The patch lasts for up to five days and can be worn anywhere on the body that’s exposed to the sun, making it ideal for use on vacations. Developed by L’Oréal’s US-based technology incubator, My UV Patch will launch under its sensitive skin brand La Roche Posay later this year, and will be available in 16 countries.

Generating much buzz at CES, it’s also worth looking back at recent developments in the suncare market – notably Spinali Design’s tech-enabled bikini. The launch of My UV Patch also confirms the trend towards more holistic, hassle-free ways of protecting the skin from the sun.

Guest post Stylus.com by Alice Leebur

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Wove Band
Image source: Polyera

US-based flexible electronics company Polyera has developed the world’s first smartwatch with a bendable digital screen, called the Wove Band.

It features a flexible E-ink film and double-layered organic LED displays to create a touchscreen that can either be used flat or flexed around the wearer’s wrist – enabling a far larger display than other smartwatches on the market. The screen – which is integrated into the wristband itself – covers 75% of the simple strip design, and will display content such as weather forecasts, news headlines and emails with a simple tap.

Prototypes will be available for developers by the end of the year, with the watch released for consumer use by mid-2016.

Flexible displays are providing a more human approach to technology – particularly within the wearables market, where there is growing demand for subtle and pliable interfaces that can mould to the body. Hi-tech developments are enabling this by embedding technology within ultra-thin materials.

Guest post Stylus.com by Emily Johnson

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Spinali Design
Image source: Spinali Design

A new tech-enabled bikini analyses the sun’s rays and alerts the wearer to reapply sun protection, demonstrating the potential of wearable technology to connect with the fashion industry in meaningful ways.

The Connected Bikini by French firm Spinali Design houses a small waterproof, removable UV sensor, which communicates data through a smartphone app. The skin type of the wearer directs notifications – with those with fairer skin receiving more frequent alerts for reapplication. The Valentine function can also send a message to pre-selected friends in the event the wearer falls asleep or ignores their notifications.

Currently the bikinis are made to measure, and retail upwards of €149 ($163). While unlikely to attract the design-conscious consumer, the technology can easily be adapted to different garments (a connected beach towel is also on offer).

There is the argument that wearables are creating a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist, but the fashion and beauty industries have much to gain from such innovations.

Guest post Stylus.com by Lisa Payne

applewatch

As most schoolchildren are told from a young age, A stands for Apple; April, on the other hand, surely stands for the Apple Watch. The industry’s most hotly-anticipated wearable has been preceded by months of speculation – could it sell as well as the iPad on its launch? Will it provide a natural fit for fashion editorials? Now, on the eve of its launch, keen industry-watchers are looking to Baselworld (the watch industry’s international trade fair) for possible rivals. There, a crop of new announcements are proving themselves worthy contenders to the smart watch throne – one which, as we should remind ourselves, Apple hasn’t ascended to quite yet.

 

Coming from the other side of the bridge where technology meets luxury fashion, TAG Heuer have announced their plans this week to release a smart watch by this Christmas. In a significant move against Apple’s projected domination, the first smart watch from the world-famous Swiss watch brand will run on Google’s Android operating system – on a processor, moreover, created by keen wearables power player Intel. You’ll have to wait to find out more, though. At the Baselworld conference, chief executive Jean-Claude Biver told the crowd, “We don’t want the competition to know what we are going to do.”

 

Never easily dismissed, the irrepressible musician-turned-technologist will.i.am also announced a new partnership at Baselworld. KERING-owned Gucci, which recently changed hands from the Gianninis to Alessandro Michele, will also bring its timepieces into a new era through a collaboration with willi.i.am’s range of wearables.

 

For those of you still convinced that Apple’s the only brand that will get you telling the time more smartly, there’s not long to wait: the official release date is slated for UK stores on 24 April, but you’ll be able to order from the 10th. But if Baselworld is anything to go by, the smartwatch marketplace is about to get very interesting.

Writer: Claire Healy

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Decoded Fashion hits SXSW Interactive on March 13-17 – in the run-up, we’ll be posting content that gives you a sneak peek of what to expect: including panel sessions, special events and the return of our Mentorship Hub.

Hitting SXSW Interactive over the long weekend? The Decoded Fashion Mentorship Hub should be your first stop: there, you’ll find top execs and creatives from the fashion, retail and beauty world ready to share their expert knowledge and coach startup founders on growing their business. SXstyle, taking place at the JW Marriott Hotel, has plenty more to pique your interest. Get the lowdown on SXSW’s most stylish arm with our essential guide – from screenings to talks, here’s the best of the rest.

The Emperor’s New…Wearables?

This panel will thrash out the notion of devices that will disappear altogether in years to come. Speakers including Brandon Little (CCO, Fossil) and Sandra Lopez (Intel) will discuss how big industry players will make wearable electronics feel increasingly invisible.

(Friday March 13, 12.30pm)

Is there still room for Fashion Blogging?

This panel is inspired by last year’s New York Magazine article by influential fashion critic Robin Givhan, which asked whether the influence of the noughties’ fashion guerrillas is waning in a post-digital age. Presented by Caroline Waxler, founder of Harkness Hall, this talk will explore what’s next for bloggers – how can they stay relevant in a crowded blogosphere?

(Tuesday March 17, 11.00am)

T H E U N S E E N

Taking place at the Austin Convention Centre, this interactive talk and demo session showcase the work of Material Alchemist Lauren Bowker and her team of anatomists, engineers and chemists. Their world aims to collide couture luxury products and science in unforeseen ways – including a recent, color-changing AIR collection. Perfect for those who want to check out the vanguard of material design.

(Monday March 16, 12.30pm)

Full details of Decoded Fashion’s SXSW activities can be found here.

Reported by Claire Healy

weekly

SXSW Interactive is almost here! In the run-up for the festival on March 13-17, it’s time to take a moment to sign up for our special events, featuring new hot startups as well as established brands. And most involve a cocktail or two.

Decoded Fashion hits SXSW this year with the goal to bring the tech networking experience back to face-to-face interaction. Our Mentorship Hub, supported by Simon and Swarovski, will bring together industry gamechangers and those just starting out in 10-minute mentorship meetings.

And if you meet 10 rising stars in the Fashion + Tech space, register to attend the event on Friday presenting the winners of Simon’s startup competition, followed by Decoded Fashion’s Networking Party. Our global #DFMeetup series lands in Austin to help you mingle with the biggest names in fashion & Tech.

Saturday is content day – with five sessions to pick from at the JW Marriott Hotel. We’ll start the day talking about disruption in brands with HFarm, one the largest startup incubators in Europe, John Lewis, a retailer innovating through R&D, hacks and startup collaboration and our own Liz Bacelar, creator of the world’s first fashion hackathon. Also, don’t miss the ‘Meet the New Retail Disruptors’ showcase at 2pm, discussing the most innovative tech in retail – what matters and what doesn’t.

After all that mingling you might be ready for a digital detox. On Sunday, March 15, the suited and booted guys over at menswear start-up Combatant Gentlemen will be around to show you their innovative design-to-delivery model firsthand – along with a complementary massage.

On Monday, March 16 at 2pm, Cortexica, an industry leader in image recognition and Visual Search Technology, will be on hand to demonstrate their algorithmic findSimilar™ technology – and explain why it’s set to change the future of shopping. To end the day on the more style-focussed end of the spectrum is globally feted jewellery designer Kendra Scott, will be showcasing her new jewellery collection on a living garden wall at 5pm.

Full details of Decoded Fashion’s SXSW activities can be found here.

Reported by Claire Healy

Image: SXSW 2014

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“At Intel’s big Make It Wearable competition in San Francisco late last year, the theme of the day was “no way.” As a parade of entrepreneurs took the stage to promote their Next Big Things, the phrase erupted in my brain again and again. A glove that tracks workers’ movements on a factory floor? “

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Wearables
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“The norton protected betabrand ‘ready active jeans’ feature RFID-blocking fabric to shield personal and credit card details from digital scanning devices. with figures claiming over 10 million identities are electronically pickpocketed every year, the machine cold-washable trousers have a classic five-pocket style which includes two – one for the back and front – that block radio-frequency identification and near-field communication readers.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Betabrand Norton Jeans
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“More than half of business and technology decision-makers in various industries, including retail, say implementing a strategy for wearable mobile technology will be a priority in 2015, according to a Forrester Research Inc. survey published in the new report ‘Five Urgent Truths About The Future Of Wearables That Every Leader Should Know.'”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Wearables
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“It’s not difficult to imagine the wearables category, as a whole, potentially falling into the trap of “over-featurization” when they really should be limited by design.”

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