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 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 into…


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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My biggest financial priority right now is to pay off my car loan and afford a wedding of about $50,000.“ – Female, 29, NJ

Facebook is getting more emotional. The platform is adding Reactions, a new set of emoji icons that allow users to convey emotions beyond “Like,” including “Sad,” “Angry,” and “Wow.” Facebook’s director of monetization product marketing says the buttons will help brands, “understand on a multi-dimensional level how people are feeling about the things that they're posting." (AdAge)

Parents are currently told that children under two-years-old should have no screen time—a pretty unrealistic tip for modern, mobile Millennial caregivers. But the American Academy of Pediatrics may be updating that advice to keep up with the times. A reported 30% of children in the U.S. first play with mobile devices while they’re still in diapers, and the AAP now says that “in a world where screen time is becoming simply  ‘time,’ our policies must evolve or become obsolete.” (Washington Post)

Amazon is already Millennials’ favorite place to shop online or off, and now the e-commerce giant has launched an Etsy rival. Amazon’s new Handmade platform will bring together creators of artisan, “factory-free” goods, launching with 5,000 sellers. Creators must be vetted by Amazon to ensure products are handmade, and some items will be eligible for Amazon Prime. (The Daily BeastFortune)

With more Millennials delaying marriage, more twentysomethings are not going to weddings—but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the party. Falsa Boda is a company throwing fake weddings for Argentinian Millennials who want to attend a wedding, without the hassle of actually getting married. The parties include all the elements of a wedding ceremony and reception, including a couple that re-enacts marriage vows. (BuzzFeed)

A new category of toys is combining the power of children's imagination with the amplifying magic of technology, to appeal to a generation of kids for whom “real-world activities can seem unexciting." Disney’s new augmented reality coloring book pairs with a tablet to make the characters and kids' drawing come to life in 3D and in real-time, taking their physical play and creating a digital enhancement. (Marketing Magazine)

Quote of the Day: “When I turn 14 soon I can get a job if I want and start saving for my first car with that money and the money I make on eBay.” –Male, 13, FL

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