Wearable Tech, Decoded

Share

Let’s be honest, wearable tech has been pretty unappealing to the discerning fashion girl thus far. But with a new crop of offerings featuring snakeskin wristbands, sapphire touch screens and intricate gold fretwork, it seems the technology tide is turning. Things are looking chic for the future of wearables, so it’s time to figure out which style suits you best. (These aren’t impulse buys, after all.) Speaking of, where is the shopping button on these things?

Opening Ceremony x Intel

Opening Ceremony and Intel teamed up to create the MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory) bracelet, which is set to be available in time for the holiday season at both Barneys and Opening Ceremony. The two styles feature snakeskin bands, semiprecious stones and curved sapphire touch screens to alert you—from what we can discern from the limited information currently available—to incoming emails, texts and social-media alerts.

Pro: Looks like luxury jewelry.

Con: They have yet to unveil information about the exact functionality and price (other than that it will be less than $1000).

Ringly

Watches not your thing? Try these chic rings instead. Synch the Ringly to your phone via their app then select which color should be assigned to various notifications (twitter, calendar updates, incoming calls, messages). When an alert comes in, color-coded lights on the sides of the ring illuminate and there is a small vibration.

Pro: We would actually wear this thing.

Con: No screen.

Tory Burch x Fitbit

In a collaboration with Fitbit, Tory Burch designed a selection of accessories that would feel right at home in your jewelry box. Her signature gold fretwork adorns a hinged bracelet and pendant that both fit a Fitbit Flex Tracker, allowing you all the techy benefits without the overtly sporty look. Additionally, she makes an exclusive collection of Fitbit bands in a variety of colors and prints.

Pro: It's technology, but disguised.

Con: You have to purchase a separate Fitbit Flex Tracker.

Rebecca Minkoff x Case-Mate

Determined to keep fashion at the forefront of her tech designs when she collaborated with Case-Mate, Rebecca Minkoff created two bracelets that mimic existing accessory styles from her collection. The first is a studded bracelet which—when connected via USB to your phone—provides a full phone charge. The second is a pyramid-studded notification bracelet which alerts you to incoming texts and calls via Bluetooth connectivity with your phone. Both will be available early in November.

Pro: The charging bracelet will retail for just $60, and the notification style will retail for $120.

Con: No screen on the notification bracelet, and you'll need to have a USB cord handy to charge your phone from the studded bracelet.

Apple

There is a range of brands putting out smart watches (Motorola, Pebble, LG to name a few), but the iWatch takes the prize for the most sleek and highly customizable design. Choose from 2 different screen sizes, 6 metal casings (including 18K gold), 6 types of bands (chain links, sports bands) and 11 different "face" settings. The fact you can also control your phone's camera remotely, check emails, monitor your fitness goals, and—of course—tell time, are all just bonuses.

Pro: Sure to be the It accessory in 2015, the watch can be customized to your taste.

Con: It has a hefty price tag at $349.

Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Live Watch allows you to synch via Bluetooth to a range of cellphones and includes Google Play (translation: just say "Hello Google" and you can tell the device what to do). Other features include email and fitness tracking.

Pro: Affordable at $199, it boasts a high water-resistance rating and the super-convenient Google voice command.

Con: It's masculine looking and doesn't have a camera (for that, you'd want the lesser Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 watch).