Are Smart Clothes the Real Future Of Wearable Tech?


2014 was supposed to be “the year of wearable tech,” but four months in, it seems clear that it’s going to take some time for wearables to go mainstream. The majority of attention is being paid to smartbands and smartwatches, and new entries to the market keep coming. Google has announced their expansion outside of Glass with smartwatch Android Wear, Nissan has unveiled a watch concept that would pair wearable tech with the car industry, Disney has made headlines with their new smartbands for guests, even Will.i.am is developing a smartwatch. The competition to be the star of tech that lives on our wrists is intense, but so far it is unclear whether consumers—even tech-hungry Millennials— are going to embrace these innovations. Research suggests that one-third of those who have purchased wearable tech abandoned their devices after just six months of use, causing some to wonder if the “next big thing” in tech is a harder sell than brands previously suspected. One of the big issues of wristband and Glass technology is that currently it is very noticeable and not necessarily stylish. We wrote that wearable tech would have to be either beautiful or undetectable to be embraced by a broader audience than the techie crowd, and the makers of these devices are heeding the warning, with Google partnering with glasses-maker Luxxotica for more fashionable Glass frames, and Intel working with Opening Ceremony and Barneys New York to create a wristband that actually looks cool. 

So what will the future of wearable tech actually look like? The answer may lie in the items that we already wear everyday. Smart clothes have the advantage of being less detectable and potentially more fashion-forward than current wearable tech items. The category also has the potential to be more naturally integrated…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “To get ideas for what to buy others for the holidays, I browsed gift ideas online and thought about what they needed.” -Female, 24, MD

Quiz game Trivia Crack is winning the hearts of Millennials as it soars to the top of App Store charts. The game is gaining popularity around the world, especially on school and college campuses, resulting in 100 million users and a steady 800,000 daily downloads. The set up of the game is basic but addictive: the user spins a colorful wheel and then answers questions from one of six classic quiz categories. Users can challenge friends on Facebook, but what really sets the app apart is that players can submit their own questions to contribute to the game, keeping the question pool “new and relevant.” In Argentina, where Trivia Crack launched, the app is also available as a board game and a TV game show is now airing. (TechCrunch)

Millennials may actually care more for their cars than previously assumed. A new MTV study revealed that of those 18-34-year-olds who drive, 72% said they would rather give up texting for a week than their car, and 80% of Millennials get around most often by car versus other transportation forms. The study does, however, contradict previous findings that indicate Millennials care less about cars than previous generations. Regardless, if automakers, dealers, and ad agencies want to successfully appeal to Millennials, they must do so very thoughtfully: over 80% believe buying or leasing a car should take less time, and 87% say the buying process should be more transparent. (Detroit News)

Smart technology and integrated design in homes are one of the big trends predicted to take off in 2015, and are increasingly important for Millennial consumers, who are adopting it more quickly than previous generations. 57% said smart technology is a good investment, versus only 35% of those 55 and older, and 64% of those under 35 believe that smart technology makes their home safer and enjoyable. For this generation of homeowners, all aspects of the home could get a technological makeover, and unlocking doors or preheating ovens with smartphones could become a “new norm.” (Boston Globe)

Legacy retailers having a hard time taking advantage of social media might want to take notes from Lilly Pulitzer. The brand has embraced social platforms and created campaigns that engage followers while driving e-commerce sales. The “Lilly 5x5” Instagram and Pinterest campaign gets much of the credit for their success. Five days week, a new print designed by Lilly Pulitzer’s in-house artists is released on the brand's social media platforms. This strategy has doubled their Pinterest following and almost quadrupled their number of Instagram followers, while providing the brand with data on what designs resonate most with fans. The brand has taken the most popular prints and used them in stores, and last November created a shoppable catalogue on Instagram using the designs. (Digiday)

Snapchat will soon be filled with more than disappearing selfies. The app announced today that they will offer users original editorial content from media sources like ESPN, CNN, Net Geo, and Vice. The feature, called Discover, allows users to browse video, photo, and written content that publishers have created specifically for the app. The new feature comes at a time when traditional media companies are experimenting with new platforms to reach younger readers. As Snapchat is reportedly thriving, specifically with those under 25, this could be a great opportunity for both publishers as well as brands, who will be able to advertise on the Discover feed. (New York Times)

Exactly how much are Millennials spending every day…and what are they buying? Our tracked data trends have all the stats on that, thanks to our bi-weekly survey of 1000 14-32-year-old Millennials nationwide. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following average daily spend and items purchased, with spending broken out by age and gender. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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