I'm not a technophobe: Wearable technology is just ugly

To wear or not to wear this new technology

Wearable technology is an interesting term. When we in the fashion industry talk about wearability, it rarely means whether or not a garment can physically be sported. It usually translates as whether the majority of us would want to wear them.

We rarely need the clothes we buy; rather, we want them. Fashion's built-in obsolescence outruns a garment's natural life.

The design of Apple's products as physical objects is, arguably, as big a draw as its user interfaces. And when a new iPhone is released, the thousands queuing worldwide to buy them first aren't consumers whose previous models ceased to work at the same time. There's a distinctly fashionable bent to their urge to acquire.

I'm feeling no such thing about Google's glasses, or about the smartwatches offered by LG (the G Watch) or Motorola (the Moto 360). They're techy, and they sit on the body in some way. But wearable? Not for me.

The G Watch resembles a Lilliputian iPad strapped to the wrist with the sort of rubber strap that usually suspends a leisure-centre locker key. The Moto 360 looks a bit like a souvenir trinket. Google enlisted Diane von Furstenberg to give its Glass a sexy, stylish spin. They still look like brutal NHS bins.

I'm not convinced that the technological advantages of any of these devices outweigh the stylistic issues. It's early days, but these tech try-outs, by their very nature, have to be brandished, boldly in public.

So why expose them to the world if the design isn't yet good enough? They may be ready-to-go from the box, but I wouldn't really call them ready-to-wear until those all-important fashion credentials are fixed.

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