Wearing technology

Cell phone addiction takes on new meaning with this week’s trend, especially if you are someone who likes having your cell phone on you at all times.

The latest wearable technology trends will be music to your ears (literally) and may even prompt a few thought-provoking product-development ideas for hospitality. With much buzz about wearable technology for a decade now and products such as Google Glass, the Apple iWatch and Nike’s Fuel Band officially in the pipeline, wearable tech is no longer for “the tech geeks” alone.  Even with a hefty price tag of US$1,500, Google’s unique “Project Glass” has lead the way, opening doors to both nerds and non-nerds who are sharing excitement about the future of wearable technology. 

More than ever, gadget-obsessed individuals within the garment industry are approaching technology partners with designs and ideas that are evolving out of the incubator state and into fruition. From gloves with touchscreen-friendly features to jackets with built-in MP3 players, wearable technology is becoming more and more pervasive. 

This next example is geared toward women — especially those who prefer not to carry an oversized bag when going out for the evening. The latest LBD (Little Black Dress) — a.k.a., “The M-Dress” — happens to be a personal favorite because after a SIM card is slipped under the label, you will receive calls by simply lifting your hand to your ear. Practical. Simple. Functional.

Another tech item you can wear was designed for those who find holding a phone to your ear inconvenient and at the same time feel Bluetooth headsets aren’t exactly attractive. Thanks to an attractive pendant necklace from Novero, you no longer have to choose between style and convenience because the necklace features Bluetooth 2.1, a micro USB charger and four hours of talk time (or 100 hours on standby). When a call comes through, you simply tap a small button on the pendant, swing the earpiece into your ear and start talking!

For the guys, a stylish and tech-savvy functional shirt is now on the market. The design incorporates an iPhone-shaped pocket, a headphone threading hook built into the collar and a small static-free cloth, so you can keep the screen clean at all times.

Another innovation that caught my eye leans more towards the revolutionary side for the medical industry. Researchers at the University of Carlos III in Madrid created a completely wireless hospital gown that monitors a patient’s vitals including temperature and heart rate. It even alerts a doctor to a patient’s location and advises if the patient is sitting, standing, lying down or moving.

Wearing technology is no longer a figment of one’s imagination. Interest levels from developers and consumers are growing, and on the whole, this first wave of products appears to be the start of a highly successful and thriving industry!

If any readers have ideas, thoughts or predictions on how any of these early rounds of examples might transcend into hospitality, please chime in and share!