While the debate continues to rage as to whether or not the second instalment of Google Glass will ever take centre stage in the consumer market, the first, primitive offering embodied the issues that exist with wearable technology. More specifically, the potential functionality of this device could not make up for a visually unappealing design, while the prohibitive price point also caused considerable cause for concern. If wearable technology was ever to become popular, the experts claimed, it would need to become decidedly cooler and modern in its design.
If there is one type of wearable technology to help bridge the gap between style and functionality, it is the smartwatch. Led by the market-leading Apple Watch, some of the formative designs have been sleek, stylish and decidedly versatile across a range of alternate looks. Simplicity underpins this design ethos, with Apple having arguably created an iconic timepiece that uses vibrant colours and beautifully presented lines to devastating effect. In contrast, the darker and edgier Samsung Gear Live offers an extremely sleek design that is aimed at male users.
From this perspective, wearable technology has already begun to look cool. In addition to this, its ever-increasing range of functionality means that it is ideal both as a fitness aid and a recreational tool, especially as these garments can be synchronised to an iOS or Android smartphone. This could be particularly revolutionary for mobile casino gaming in the UK, or even the U.S. if gambling is ever legalised fully in the states. Such a range of uses only adds to the coolness of wearable technology, and similarly, appealing design will help to transform the market.
In many ways, the wearable technology market is currently in a state of flux. While the current generation of smartwatches and to a lesser degree fitness bands all boast a semblance of aesthetic appeal and design quality, for example, the failure of more complex projects such as Google Glass suggests that there is still a gap to bridge between form and functionality. This means that while not all wearable technology projects can currently be described as being cool, significant advancements have been made in the last 12 months and there is potential for further development in the future.
Google Glass 2.0 reaffirms this, which though still officially in Beta mode suggests that the brand has learned from its previous failed efforts. Not only will the new hardware be cheaper (assuming that it is made available to the public and not solely to enterprises), but the brand is also reported to have joined forces with fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg to diversify the range of frames available. With potentially five sleek frames (including a titanium example targeted at male consumers) and eight stylish shades, Google Glass 2.0 may yet become one of the coolest and most elegant examples of wearable technology yet.