Akanksha Pandey, Jr Fashion Editor, Verve. We may not have a phone bracelet yet, but we can track a lot with a beautiful bauble on our wrist. Let’s explore how the wearable tech is getting a stylish update.
A few years ago in 2014, Intel launched a smart bracelet with high-tech features. The bracelet called MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory) featured 18-carat gold finishing and a sapphire glass screen, which displayed notifications from Google, Facebook and a few other apps. While Intel intended on blurring the lines between gadgets and jewellery, it was never able to attain much success with this accessory.
The trend of bejewelled headphones soon gained its momentum in 2016. Pop singer Rihanna also made a case for trendy headgear. She posted a photo of hers online wearing embellished headsets with a crown design by Dolce & Gabbana X Frends. Reportedly, the gadget sold out within 24 hours of her photo going viral.
(Rihanna wearing the Dolce & Gabbana headphones)
Beats by Dre, a popular headphones brand also started offering bling accessories. Their crystal-encrusted headsets have been a big hit among female consumers. They also experimented with 24-carat-gold finish design for male consumers.
(Beats by Dre X Swarovski headphones; Image: Crystal Rocked)
While the market of headphones continues to grow, in the last few years a new market has emerged for wireless earphones. As per reports, Apple sold 60 million AirPods (wireless earphones) in 2019. And, now imagine them doubling up as earrings. A Brazil-based jewellery designer, Bia Tambelli designed B-tech charms for AirPods. Made with precious stones, these charms easily fit over the AirPods, adding sparkle to your ears.
(Bia Tambelli B-Tech charms)
Over the last few years, the wearable market has ascended strongly. According to the data of International Data Corporation’s, basic wearable tech dominated the market with a 96.2 % share, up 177% YoY in 2019, while smart wearables accounted for 3.8% of the overall shipments rising by 49.5%.
Interestingly, the smartwatch market also led the watch category with 61.1% share in 2019 (
Inputs by Economic Times). Fossil and Apple were the leading vendors last year. Lagos, an American jewellery company offers unisex jewellery bracelets just for Apple Watches in 18K gold, silver and diamonds.
(Lagos Smart Caviar Diamond Watch Bracelet)
In the quest for smart jewellery, luxury lifestyle brands also ventured into the market of tech, giving many accessories a stylish update. Tory Burch collaborated with Fitbit and transformed the popular fitness tracker into a stylish piece of jewellery. The collection features pendant necklace, bracelets and wristbands with Tory Burch brand logo.
(Tory Burch X Fitbit collection)
Michael Kors also experimented with this segment and launched their very own bracelet with a fitness tracker. Their bracelets feature ‘mother of pearl’, which tracks your fitness and also looks pretty on your wrist.
(Michael Kors Activity Tracker)
Thumb image courtesy: Lagos Jewellery
Disclaimer: Content Produced by The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council