The Rise of Fashionable Technology

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” I’ve always been fascinated by the next big thing. I still slap myself for missing the boat in a major way three years ago.

“There’s an app for that.” With those five words, Apple launched what is now known as the app economy. It’s not an exaggeration – the app economy has created nearly 500,000 jobs according to The Miami Herald, and it has birthed fast-growing companies such as Rovio and Zynga (albeit it has seen better times). It is also projected to be worth $55 billion by 2015.

It was the BlackBerry and the iPod that initially ushered in the age of mobile devices. As hardware gets smaller and grows more powerful, the devices are now bred in another form. These new devices are sleeker, better-designed and offer more practical methods of improving our lives. They can help us track our habits, improve the way we feel, and offer more control in our lives.

The most bizarre part is a lot of the new technology take the form of accessories. Let’s look at some products that are bringing about the rise of fashionable, wearable technology.

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Breeding Further Change

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Nike+ FuelBand – A motivational tool to engage users in activity, it utilizes Nike’s own proprietary Nike Fuel Points.

Nike has consistently been on the forefront of technological change. They were one of the first to leverage the power of mobile technology with the original Nike+iPod equipment, which connected with earlier variants of the Apple iPod and iPhone to measure exercise performance.

The Nike+ service evolved to take the form of a bracelet, similar to the Jawbone UP. Dubbed theNike+ FuelBand, this product similarly measures physical performance (without the sleep or diet aspects that the UP tracks). While its feature set is more focused in scope, it is connected to devices via Bluetooth and served as a much more reliable product than Jawbone’s first variant of the UP (which received complaints as UP bracelets randomly stopped working).

Recently, Nike announced a collaboration with TechStars to launch their own accelerator and help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to reality. It is focused on companies that plan to build software on the Nike+ platform.

The benefits of having entrepreneurs join the Nike+ accelerator is access to the extremely impressive TechStars network, which ranges from powerful investors to experienced mentors. The accelerator also helps with funds – in exchange for supporting each company with $20,000, TechStars will be taking 6% of each company entering the Nike+ accelerator.

Data has been huge when it comes to making decisions in corporations, and has been crucial to improving bottom lines. Now, these devices, platforms and applications mean that data can be accessed by consumers to improve their health, well-being and quality of life.

While the main function of technology has always been to make life easier, the importance of design used to be overlooked by most companies. Now, the fact that technology is becoming more fashionable simply means an even quicker permeation into mainstream culture.

While apps have made a huge dent on our world in an extremely short amount of time, their effects will pale in comparison to what fashionable, wearable technology has in store.
Herbert Lui is passionate about entrepreneurship, art, and technology. In his spare time, he covers technology and startup news for Techvibes. If you want to connect (or heckle), please feel free to reach out on Twitter. ”

*Other Tech Pieces:

* Repost via hypebeast.com – Herbert Lui
http://hypebeast.com/2013/2/the-rise-of-fashionable-technology

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