Wearables Should be Stylish

To no one’s surprise, Apple announced the Apple Watch today.

Very apropos because I just read Sandra Lee’s (@SandraLee0415) post over on Usable Apps about fashionable tech, one of Ultan’s (@ultan) main talking points about wearables.

Ultan, our wearables whisperer, has style and flair; if you’ve ever met him, you know this. His (and Sandra’s) point about wearable tech needing to be stylish is one that Apple has made, again, to precisely no one’s surprise. Appearance matters to people, and smartwatches and other wearables are accessories that should be stylish and functional.

The market has spoken on this. To the point, the Android Wear smartwatch people want is the round Moto 360, which sold out in less a day earlier this week.

The Apple Watch looks very sleek, and if nothing else, the array of custom bands alone differentiate it from smartwatches like the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G, both of which are also glass rectangles, but with boring rubber wristbands.

I failed to act quickly enough to get a Moto 360 and settled instead on a Gear Live, which is just as well, given I really don’t like wearing watches. We’ve been building for the Pebble for a while now, and since the announcement of Android Wear earlier this year, we’ve been building for it as well, comparing the two watches and their SDKs.


Like Google Glass, the Gear Live will be a demo device, not a piece of personal tech. However, for Anthony, his Android Wear watch has replaced Glass as his smartphone accessory of choice. Stay tuned for the skinny on that one.

I haven’t read much about the Apple Watch yet, but I’m sure there will be coverage aplenty as people get excited for its release early in 2015. Now that Apple’s in the game, wearables are surely even more of a thing than they were yesterday.

And they’re much more stylish.

Find the comments.




  1. Awesome shoutout! Thanks Jake.

    Of course, just when I got into the “how long will I live” war with @stenvesterli (translation: MyTikker.com) and prepared to storm BestBuy.com in San Carlos to get my Moto 360 (http://usableapps.tumblr.com/post/96966757030/yolo-get-your-wearable-tech-on-for-the-oow14-and), Apple went ahead and how I have another one to find wrist space for … and it’s getting expensive. Luckily, I didn’t need that second kidney anyway…

    Definitely these things need to be stylish. They’re should be either beautiful or invisible. Period.

  2. I’ve already heard the Apple offering’s style is generally too “masculine” btw… #justsayin

  3. @Ultan: The not iWatch should be interesting. At $349, it’s definitely in the luxury item category, clocking in higher than the subsidized phone it needs.

    I am surprised how similar the form factor is to models already on the market, i.e. rectangular, was hoping for a curved display too.

    Anyway, wearables get a real consumer acceptance test now.

    Great point about beautiful or invisible. I tend to the latter, since I have no sense of style 🙂

  4. To rework a line from the movie ‘Usual Suspects’, the best technology is one in which we don’t even know it’s there. This is true whether it is a wearable or some other form of human computer interaction.

  5. @Jake – two sides of the same coin, my friend – ‘Her’ is the human-like interface masking the Kaiser Soze lurking below the surface 🙂

  6. @Bill good analogy! @jake Oh, I don’t know, you’ve a certain understated style..

    I’m still going for the Moto 360 (in-store pickup) despite the so-so reviews here and there. I do a 24 mile run from my place in Dublin to Bono’s front door (OK, huge gate) at weekends. Can’t wait to wave it at him – Apple’s most famous fanboi – until the Apple watch actually arrives. (I admit I downloaded the new U2 album but that was free.)

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