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: “Mint.com is amazing. I love that I can link accounts to goals, it automatically categorizes my purchases, and it has all my accounts in one place (I have 17 linked!!!) I rarely go to individual websites anymore except to make a payment or something, since all my transactions are in Mint.” –Female, 27, VA

J.K. Rowling’s novel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, an extension to the wizarding world set a century before the Harry Potter brood entered Hogwarts, will breakout on-screen in a trilogy directed by none other than esteemed Potter director, David Yates. Fantastic Beasts and other novels from Rowling haven’t lived up to the Potter fandom, but putting back together the team that made Harry Potter come alive for audiences regardless of reading the books prior, might do the trick to attract viewers come November 2016. (MTV News)

Car buying is a big step for Millennials, and since they often don’t know what they’re looking for right off the bat, researching online is vital for product and dealer comparisons. 95% of Millennials use the internet to shop for vehicles and half are researching cars on their phones, compared to only 19% who were using smartphones to auto shop last year. Brands and dealerships are having to rethink their online strategies with the rise in mobile shopping, since having a mobile site that functions poorly is much worse by Millennial standards than not having one at all. (MediaPost

Capsule collections are still a big draw for young consumers, excited by the rush of limited-time-only launches and the ability to buy designer items for less. The Altuzarra for Target collection debuted its lookbook online this week with increased excitementfrom fashion publications, but one blogger was majorly disappointed by the lack of plus size options and decided to start a #BoycottingTarget movement. Her frustration comes after a recent sweep to remove plus sized lines from Target stores, and while the brand promises for a “new plus line in the near future,” shoppers are still upset. (Jezebel)

Current consumer culture is based on the Boomer ideal of big cars parked in the driveway of a big suburban house, but Millennials’ pushback on entering adulthood and moves to urban centers are a sign that products and marketing must change to fit their needs. Brands from mattress companies to Pepsi to General Mills are revamping packaging, reformulating products, and considering marketing tactics like sponsorship of music concerts or online quizzes to approach this generation “on their terms.” (NY Times

Anonymous app Secret has come under fire as a rumor mill for bullying, and a judge in Brazil has ordered Apple, Microsoft, and Google to make Secret unavailable in their app stores to people in Brazil. The judgment was brought to light following reports of students wanting to leave school because of rumors spread on the app. Since technical implications to remove Secret from users’ phones may not be feasible for app store providers, preventing the trend of anonymous bullying from growing globally will be difficult without cooperation from the app’s founders. (PandoDaily)

Infographics add to the story of this generation’s behaviors and views by synthesizing complex data into quick, visual bites. Our Gold and Silver tier subscribers are given access to our regularly published Infographic Snapshots, like this week’s breakdown of back-to-school spending. Using stats from our proprietary bi-weekly survey data, we make sure you know exactly where your Millennial target audience stands in a quick and easy way. (Ypulse)

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