Business Magazine

A Look At The Wearable Tech Space

Posted on the 25 April 2014 by Worldwide @thedomains

Wearable Technology has been a big buzzword in the tech space and in domaining over the last year. The Wearable Tech showcase and discussion thread on Namepros has had 393 replies and over 16,000 views.

There has been a lot going on in the news from people wearing Google Glass in San Francisco getting mugged, to Google having a one day sale and selling out Google Glass, to the recent news about Nike shutting down their fuel band product.

ZDNet is out today with the news Google Glass is available to everyone and its already sold out.

Google has opened the floodgates to the consumer market, announcing that Glass is available for purchase to just about everyone now.

This is much more than the one-day flash sale earlier this month in which the Android maker opened up the Google Glass Explorer Program to anyone who applied in time to grab a limited number of units.

Prior to April 15, the digital red ropes to the Explorer Program had been more tightly guarded, with invites only circulating to developers, members of the media, and a mixed gaggle of other recipients invited by other members or promotions on Twitter.

The Nike fuel band has actually gotten a lot of press lately.

MarketingMagazine.co.uk covered it,

Nike is laying off staff within its digital sports division that created the Nike+ FuelBand, raising questions about the future of the smart wristband that is often held up as the poster child of the wearable technology sector.

A source told CNET that around 55 of the 70 people employed in the hardware team that oversees the development of the FuelBand have been laid off as Nike prepares to stop making wearable hardware.

Nike has confirmed there will be a “small” number of lay-offs within the digital sports unit that houses the hardware team, but claims the second generation Nike+ FuelBand SE will remain an important part of its business.

Nike said in a statement: “As a fast paced, global business we continually align resources with business priorities. As our digitalsSport priorities evolve, we expect to make changes within the team and there will be a small number of layoffs. We do not comment on individual employment matters.

“The Nike+ FuelBand SE remains an important part of our business. We will continue to improve the Nike+ FuelBand App, launch new METALUXE colours, and we will sell and support the Nike+ FuelBand SE for the foreseeable future.

Recode.net covered the Nike Fuel Band news and highlighted an anonymoust post on Secret,

nikefuelbandsecret

Either way, cracks seem to be showing in the wearables space, raising fresh questions about the viability of the devices in their current form.

While a surge of companies have hit the market with all manner of digital health trackers in recent months, it’s still unclear how much demand there is on the part of mainstream consumers. Industry insiders, at least some and at least quietly, acknowledge that usage drops off steeply within a few weeks or months.

Humans being humans, it’s innately challenging to get them to stick to new, healthier habits. But it’s also uncertain how much these gadgets really help people lead healthier lives.

Scott Stein wrote on CNET that Nike getting out of the hardware business was a smart move,

Unless activity bands cost $50 and become a disposable fashion accessory, there’s no future in them until they become smarter. Nike’s relationship with Apple clearly points in a direction that at least supports whatever Apple will unveil down the road, but for companies like Nike that have a very specific view of fitness, maybe it’s best to think small. Be an app, and run on everything. Be a Netflix, or a Spotify. Let others choose you, and choose the hardware separately. I don’t want a band for every app. No one does.

Speculation that Apple will be getting into the wearable market broke this week with talk of the iWatch. Chris Smith on BGR.com wrote,

Now that Apple has been seen further extending its company trademark to cover Class 14 devices including watches, a new piece of evidence seems to indicate that there’s apparently little doubt as to what Apple’s smartwatch will be called. French publication Consomac has discovered that Apple has quietly applied for “iWatch” trademarks in many markets around the world, including the U.S., by using a discrete dummy company called Brightflash.

While this is not official confirmation that Apple will indeed refer to its smartwatch line as the iWatch, it certainly fits with the previously revealed Class 14 Apple trademark filings. It is believed that the company is trying to maintain as much secrecy as possible around its products by using dummy companies to register trademarks for unannounced devices.

Forbes did a piece titled, The Future Of Wearable Tech Isn’t Geeky Google Glass

Wearable technology is clothing or accessories incorporating computer or advanced electronic technologies. Google Glass, the Pebble Watch, and Nike Fuel are some well-known examples. The market for wearable tech is around $5 billion today—Credit Suisse estimates this will increase to $50 billion in 3–5 years.

It’s a large and growing market. And it’s traditionally targeted at men.

In his article Richard Bliss believes women are the key to driving wearable technology forward.

This means that moving to wearable tech has  less friction for most women. That’s especially true if the tech meets a need that they feel, such as being able to be connected in a less obtrusive way.

For men to widely embrace wearable tech, it needs to be practical, but not necessarily unobtrusive. When a man spends a lot of money on something, he wants people to notice.

Tanya Smith wrote on Live Science about Solar Dresses and WiFi Suits,

The designers at Studio Roosegaarde have created a provocative dress called “Intimacy” that becomes transparent based on “close and personal encounters” with other people. The dress is made of smart electronic foil that gradually becomes see-through as its wearer’s heartbeat increases.

The designers have created two versions of the dress already, and are currently searching for haute-couture designers to develop a third, called Intimacy 3.0.

It is pretty futuristic looking as far as clothing goes, you can check out more at Studio Roosegaarde

Also from the Live Science article:

Solar-powered clothing

For the practical-minded fashionista, Dutch designer Pauline van Dongen is creating dresses and coats that incorporate solar cells, which could be used to powerA Look At The Wearable Tech Space a smartphone or other gadgets. Van Dongen’s brand was a finalist in the wearable-technology category at the South By Southwest Accelerator, a live pitch competition held March 8-9.

Van Dongen’s solar outfits are still in the prototype phase. The solar cells aren’t yet washable, and the garments likely won’t be on the market for another 1.5 to two years, van Dongen told Live Science.

Here are some of the best domains in the space and who owns them:

Wearable.com under privacy, forwards to AirStash.com. Registered in 1996

Wearables.com is owned by Build A Sign, it is developed as a blog on Wearable Tech. Registered in 1996.

WearableTech.com is registered to an individual and is developed as a site dedicate to the Wearable Computer by Steve Mann. Registered in 1999.

WearableTechnology.com is registered to an individual and just shows some patents related to the owner. Registered in 1998.

Wearable.Technology is owned by a company called Visijax out of the UK. They make cyclewear. The domain is used as a redirect to Visijax.com.

Visijax

In the namepros thread about the next trend, member Hawkeye wrote that he turned down xx,xxx for iWearables.com. That post is here


Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

Paperblog Hot Topics

Magazines