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: "I do not want any of the candidates currently in the running to win the election.”—Male, 22, FL

Snapchat clone Snow is continuing to pull in massive numbers. In a little over a year, the app which lets users add effects, stickers, and filters to their selfies, share their images and videos in a “Story,” and send self-destructing messages, has over 80 million downloads—in comparison, Snapchat had about 10 million downloads in a year after launching. Despite the majority of downloads stemming from Asia—particularly in China where Snapchat is banned—brands like Burger King and Nescafe are jumping on the platform by introducing stickers that can be used on the app globally. (Digiday)

The credit card that has gone viral with young consumers has launched their first marketing campaign. “Reserve What’s Next” is a video series for Chase Sapphire Reserve, featuring James Corden interviewing “innovators in the restaurant, transportation, and lodging fields.” It is aimed “at travelers interested in what’s next in travel,” which describes experience-hungry Millennials. The president of Ypulse, Dan Coates, says the behind-the-scenes approach of the new ads will especially appeal to young consumers, because they “love to geek out over things, digging into the process behind the product.” (The New York Times

They may be digitally-savvy, but Millennials are falling for tech scams more often than you think. A global survey from Microsoft and the National Cyber Security Alliance, found that two in three consumers have experienced a tech support scam in the past year, and 50% of 18-34-year-olds reported to have “continued with a fraudulent interaction.” Pop-ups, unsolicited email, and scam websites have given “an edge” to scammers, who are using them to trick even the “savviest members” of the generation. (Fox News

Nature is often the backdrop for ads targeting Millennials, but many times its intention often misses the mark. The “Millennials-gone-wild” trend in advertising is evoking a sense of freedom for young consumers and allows them to be “more in touch with things that are real, things that are natural as a counter effect to all the digital they have around them.” However, brands need to stay aware of over-saturation, particularly within the apparel industry where the imagery has become stylized and less authentic. (MarketWatch

Dole Food Co. is joining forces with Disney to get kids to eat their fruits and veggies. To fulfill their shared mission of “providing high quality produce to help families lead healthier lives," Dole and Walt Disney Co. have produced a new line of produce branded with Disney characters that will be sold starting next month. The strategy is in line with the food industry’s shift in marketing to focus on parents when selling kids’ products by emphasizing 'health-related benefits,' and adding 'all natural' and 'no sugar' labels. (Los Angeles Times)

Quote of the Day: “The issue I most care about during this presidential election is how we are going to resolve this massive student loan problem.”—Male, 23, PA

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