Making fashion wearables a reality

According to new research from IDC, the shipment of wearable devices is expected to increase from 102.4 million in 2016 to 237.5 million by 2021, with the shift towards watches, jewellery and clothing driving a demand for fashionable design. As Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers comments: “Tech companies will be forced to step up their game and offer a wider selection of sizes, materials, and designs in order to appeal to a broader audience. We also expect more tech vendors to partner with fashion brands for their creativity.”
We are already seeing an increasing number of simple fashion pieces being reimagined for the tech-savvy, fashion-conscious individuals of the 21st century. However, perhaps most interestingly, it is the unprecedented level of customisation that these innovative products boast that really makes them stand out from their predecessors.
The flexibility and innovative potential offered by plastic display technology is already playing a pioneering role in elevating simple wearable products into groundbreaking and aspirational ones that allow individuals to express their personality and embody their personal brand. Breaking through the limitations of glass, plastic displays create opportunities for differentiation and competitive advantage. To an end user, low power, lightweight and daylight readability functionality ensures that wearable devices built around a plastic display remain practical, comfortable and useful everyday accessories.
All these features are nicely demonstrated in the POP I backpack, which debuted at CES this year. The backpack allows wearers to display or design their own image, from selfies to pre-set designs and has been slated to be ‘the next ‘it’ thing in bespoke apparel.
We’ve also recently completed a project with L!BER8 to deliver the world’s first no-charge wearable bracelet. The displays’ robustness and low-power consumption lent themselves perfectly to the creation of Tago Arc - a high-end bracelet that users can fully customise with different digital patterns (synced wirelessly through an app) to suit their mood, clothes or other accessories.
Using the lightweight and comfort benefits of plastic display’s to their advantage, Bianca Cheng Constanzo and Laura Hughes created The Single Coat, which they have described as a ‘reaction to modern conspicuous consumption’. The displays’ flame animations in the pockets are a vivid reference to the idiom ‘burning a hole in your pocket’ and the designers have labelled the coat as a ‘synergy between conceptual design and the latest technology.’
These examples are just a handful of fashion applications that plastic displays are supporting but the untapped opportunity remains large and potentially very lucrative. The displays and the new level of customisation that they are enabling is taking fashion wearable technology to a new level and there is significant scope for flexible plastic displays to disrupt new markets and evolve simple products into exceptional ones.