Wearable technology is gaining public awareness and is the topic of many conversations among consumers, industry professionals, and retailers alike. Although wearable tech is not a new concept, the release of the Apple Watch and Google Glass has brought new light to this industry and the potential it holds. Some wearable tech can be used with a smartphone or tablet while the aim of others is to completely replace these devices altogether. These products can be most beneficial in situations where mobile devices and laptops are prohibited but you still need to track information.
Wearable tech is meandering wits way to the mainstream consumer but it continues to be an infant market. The next several years will determine if these devices will be adopted and the market can mature. With all of these proposed interesting wearable gadgets coming to the market, the future may be more like an episode of The Jetsons.
Wearable technology is available in all shapes and sizes with a variety of functions. There are inexpensive options and extremely expensive options. The following is a list of some of the most expensive pieces of wearable tech that exist on the market today.
This Chanel Suit – $300,000
If Coco Chanel were alive in the age of 3D printing, how might the technology have enhanced her clothing? Last year, Karl Lagerfeld addressed that question directly by producing a $300,000 quilted suit combining hand embroidery and selective laser sintering. The ensemble has physical qualities that would have been impossible to achieve with only a needle and thread, such as quilting without stitches and seams. But the most radical aspect of Lagerfeld’s creation is the seamless integration of hand and machine.
This Apple Watch – $225,000
The Apple watch is one of the most well-known and mainstream pieces of wearable tech on the market today. The watch comes equipped with an inexpensive silicon band which can be swapped out for a more luxurious watch band. In 2015, band manufacturer, Firebox, announced the release of its 18K gold, diamond-encrusted band with the sapphire crystal retina display version of the watch screen. This version is known by online retailers as the WTF range which is only affordable by a select few.
Armill Smart Jewelry – $149,000
Armill is an exclusive smart jewelry accessory created by Christophe & Co, a British Jewelry company and designed by Pininfarina, an Italian design company. The exquisite piece is available as a deluxe bracelet that is highly unique due to its high-quality material construction consisting of 18K gold, carbon fiber frame, exterior of ceramics and some of the world’s most expensive gemstones. Of course every aspect of the bracelet can be customized to the customer’s preference. There is a cheaper edition that costs $75,000, a medium edition for $93,000 and the top edition which runs $149,000.
Google Glasses – $1,500
From the Armill Smart Jewelry, there is a huge jump down in price point to Google Glass. Although not nearly as expensive as the two aforementioned wearable tech, Google Glass is still outside the range of the normal customer’s budget. This device is a futuristic-looking wearable pair of glasses that has a screen covering one eye and an integrated camera. Currently, there is only a limited edition version being produced and sold to those in the Google Glass Explorer program. Every explorer can give out three invitations to purchase the item. Google Glass has the ability to capture point of view photos and videos, utilize facial recognition app technology and display information instantly in front of your eye.
Zegna Sport Icon Jacket – $1,300
It looks like a fashionable jacket that is available in black, blue or red but the Zegna Sport Icon Jacket is much more. Built into the jacket are audio and call controls with a Bluetooth link to a smartphone or music player. The inside of the jacket features built-in headphones as well as an inline microphone. This jacket brings the luxury side to wearable technology and utilizes joystick-esque functionality within the sleeve while being able to control all Bluetooth-based devices by simply toggling the joystick in any direction.
Skully Helmet – $1,000
In the middle of the list is the Skully Helmet which is an augmented reality motorcycle helmet that can instantly display information and additional views for safety. The helmet features rear and side-view cameras so motorists can check around them without looking back. The helmet is also integrated with a GPS navigation system and has Bluetooth functionality to pair with a smartphone, take calls and play music hands-free. The Skully Helmet will eliminate the need for pulling over and checking a map during long rides while keeping riders safer and out of heavy traffic without taking their eye off the road.
Withing’s Activite – $450
Coming in at a $450 price tag, Withing’s Activite is a beautiful smartwatch that seconds as a fitness tracker. This watch is more unique than the others on the market because it is of a classic design but with all of the functions of wearable tech. The watch tracks the steps taken, calories, burned, sleeping patterns and the total distance traveled. It is available in white and black and constructed from a stainless steel case and unbreakable sapphire glass that is a touchscreen allowing for toggling.
Pebble Steel – $229
The Pebble Steel is a unique smartwatch due to its cross-platform abilities. It can be used with the iPhone and Android smartphone. The watch is available in a black matte finish or stainless steel with a metal or leather band. The 5-7 day battery life blows the competition out of the water and the watch is even waterproof. The Pebble functions on its own operating system with a variety of apps that can send and receive calls, texts and other notifications.
The GolfSense Glove – $130
Although this isn’t the most expensive piece of wearable tech, it is an interesting addition to the market and a costly supplement for a pair of golf gloves. Rounding out the list is the GolfSense Glove which is a device that fits the majority golf gloves that offers feedback to the golfer based on swing motion sensor technology. The data includes how hard the ball was hit, acceleration levels prior to ball impact, speed of swing, etc. These sensors sit within a non-intrusive, light weight devices that does not affect hand motions and can be affixed with Velcro.
Wearable tech can be found in almost every industry from jewelry to golf gloves. As these innovative products continue to emerge within the market and consumers are informed of the need for such devices, the industry will eventually explode and start to reach maturity.