When did wearable technology stop being stupid?

Texas News Today

ray ben StoryGlass records video, is hands-free, and boasts Facebook technology. You can also play music and respond to basic commands through the ear speakers. (“Facebook, write this article” unfortunately didn’t work.) But the most notable features are: Looks like glasses. Released last month, the Stories Wayfarers are only 5 grams heavier than the analog duo, and without the little white light that flashes during shooting, Muhammad Ali, Madonna and countless others.

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The novelty of Ray-Ban’s digital frames lies in their simplicity. In 2013, Google released the $1,500 Glass. This made the wearer resemble a Silicon Valley cyborg, rendering the innovation obsolete. Glass still exists, but have you seen anyone playing Glass lately? With cameras with clear yellow outlines on either side, Gen-Z’s favorite social media app, Snap’s $130 Spectacles, didn’t do quite as well in 2016.

The stories of Ray-Ban glasses are part of a new generation of wearables that ditch technology and truly prioritize aesthetics. You’ll get a $400 ring from Finnish health company Oura. Released in 2018, the second generation of this sleep tracking device is small enough to pass up the cheap gold gem. Last month, Boston-based wearable startup Whoop released its fourth iteration of the screenless activity tracking bracelet. This is 33 percent less than last time. (Memberships, including the band, start at $324 for 18 months.) Earlier this year, Milan fashion label Prada partnered with American Express to introduce its most sophisticated concept ever. A paid device that’s layered inside. Available only to Centurion cardholders.

Private Eyes Although it looks like a normal shadow, the story seen in the model here features Facebook technology, which allows you to record video and respond to commands. Glasses, from $299, ray-ban.com

Photo:
ray ben

Apple Watch changed the landscape

The modern wearable rush began in the late 2000s with the onslaught of devices that could collect steps and measure energy expenditure. Block-like options, such as the Fitbit and Nike+ FuelBand, wrapped around the wrist like a black rubber-like snake and featured a spirited pixelated display reminiscent of 1980s computers. ..

Their “clumsiness” was a problem, said Elizabeth Wiesinger, a professor of sociology at the City University of New York who studies wearable technology. In 2013, a survey by Forrester Research titled “Fitness Wearables—Many Products, Few Customers” found that only 4% of Americans wanted a wearable device. “In the end, no one blinked and turned around,” Wijinger said.

Things changed in 2015 when Apple released its first Apple Watch. The market was validated by Apple’s move to wearables, a high-design, high-tech temple built by Steve Jobs. The watch looks exquisite, has curved edges, a glossy square display, interchangeable bands and includes a very crowded leather option from the luxury Rugged Hermes of France. The Apple Watch presents wearable technology as fashionable, not just functional.

With the Apple Watch in vogue, finding a wearable device on one’s wrist doesn’t seem like a noticeable anymore. At a recent meeting, New York fashion designer Jeff Staples noticed that all 10 of the other participants were wearing some kind of wristband. “These are probably people who have Rolex and Patek Philippe in their wardrobe,” he said. “But they are sitting there and collecting dust. [wearables yield] It is very important. “

WHOOP THERE ITIS University recruit Francis Ahrens has a subtle whoop band that tracks personal data and improves sleep, training, and more. Band subscription, including instruments, from $324 for 18 months, whoop.com

Photo:
martin romero

data is king

This wearable mobster that monitors your heart rate and counts calories is in line with the modern health awakening. Consider how many times over the years you have been instructed to drink 8 glasses of water or walk 10,000 steps a day. “People usually say” [want] It’s about improving health if given the right direction,” said Whoop CEO Will Ahmed. When Hoop was founded in 2012, Ahmed, a former college squash player, initially focused on professional athletes, but found that the average person was just as interested in their health data. I took note. About 99% of hoop consumers are non-professionals and just want to know how much they recovered from running the day before cycling Or how stressed they were.

However, deep sleep, rather than exercise data, may be the most compelling reason for adopting wearables. We’re at that time when zzz enthusiasts like Arianna Huffington are always reminding us that a healthy night’s rest is essential. With this in mind, almost every device on the market today has sleep tracking capabilities as well. Few do it as firmly as the Aura’s ring, which tracks resting heart rate, changes in skin temperature, time to sleep, and displays all the information via the associated phone app. In a way it can improve your snooze? According to Ring, if you’re only recording 3 hours of deep sleep, you can adjust your bedtime. Be careful when privacy is your first priority. Oura, Whoop and other wearable companies collect personal data that is tracked on these devices. Of course, data attacks can be overwhelming. In a recent appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Jennifer Aniston showed off the glitter ring on her middle finger, saying, “It’s ruining my life.” I sleep badly and feel embarrassed every day. Still, he did not remove the ring. After all, as she told the host, “I’m hooked.”

issues of minimalism

No matter how compelling the wearable’s data, the work should always be what you really want to wear. In the past, many designs missed the mark. Ora CEO Harpreet Singh Rai said the first thing consumers heard when they joined the company in 2017 was that the original ring was too big. People wanted an intelligent device that they could wear every day. The company shortened the second model of the Oura, saying, “It blends in so quickly that you can wear it with your suit and your T-shirt.”

For some users, this goal has been achieved. “You can wear it without telling the world you’re doing CrossFit,” said Martin Romero, a 32-year-old photographer from New York. He said that he just spent a few days taking pictures of people outside the New York Fashion Week show and never went out of the ring. “I think it’s the most fashionable and wearable accessory on the market.”

Our cheap gems, found at photographer Martin Romero, track data like resting heart rate and bedtime. Rings, from $299, Ouraring.com

Photo:
martin romero

Wrist-tied wearables like hoops take up more physical space, but come with interchangeable straps that give them some style of edge. Francis Ahrens, 28, who is hiring at a university in Dallas, said: Hoop sells more than 60 bands ranging from brown vegan leather to lurid neon yellows. Arlens alternates between gray and black bands, both of which are “quite unobtrusive”.

hadoop 4.0 deserves even less attention. It can be completely removed from the strap and placed in a compatible T-shirt, bra or underwear. Currently, on-body tracking can give a different measurement than wearing the hoop on your wrist.

Some recent technologies, particularly the covert mode of storytelling, raise privacy concerns. In Joanna Stern’s review of The Wall Street Journal story, she found that it was not enough for people to recognize that small indicator lights were being shot, especially in bright outdoor areas. Rocco Basilico, chief wearables officer of Ray-Ban’s parent company Luxottica, defended the product, saying the shooting indicator lights are “better than smartphones”.

fashion forward

Not all data addicts want to hide their wearables. Some supporters I spoke to said they love being able to look at the device and ask, “Hey, what is that?” When Mr. Staples finds a ring of gold on someone’s finger, he often asks if it’s an aura. Sometimes he’s wrong, but when he’s right, it opens up a conversation between two sleep-tracking obsessions.

The technology (especially novel and rarely seen) can be a status item you want to flash, such as a Cartier watch or a Gucci loafer. Some people who bought Ray-Ban stories on Instagram didn’t post videos or photos taken in the shadows, posting flashy selfies of themselves wearing glasses. It is worth noting. Ora’s Singh Rai said he had spoken to fashion brands about the collaboration (he didn’t say which) and that they want a bigger, more flashy ring. Rice field.

The successful 2021 wearable isn’t presented as a steal from a Star Trek episode, but as something that can be found in the Nordstrom department. Take, for example, the classy American Express bracelet from Prada. The technology is certainly cool, but the real value of the device may be the reaction triggered when it flashes to pay for the next latte.

The Wall Street Journal listed in its article as retailers of the product not covered by the retailers. Listed retailers are often not the only retailers.

write to Jacob Gallagher ([email protected])

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