"The big smartphone wave came, and the tablets have come, and people's interaction with technology has been changing, significantly increasing the amount of people technology has touched over the years," explains Ayse Ildeniz, VP of New Devices Group at Intel during a recent chat at CES. Recognizing the era of wearable technology is fast approaching, tech giant Intel recently announced a strategic collaboration with fashion house Opening Ceremony, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and luxury retailer Barneys New York to explore smart device-based wearable technology. To kick off the collaboration Intel and Opening Ceremony will together design a smart bracelet, aiming to have the resulting product on the shelves of Barneys by the end of 2014.
With fashion and technology becoming universally more accessible, the decision to combine the two seems more sensible than ever before. "Right now the technology companies keep creating functional things and the fashion industry keeps creating these desirable, beautiful things," continues IIdeniz, "and the time is right that they need to merge." While technology will be the buzzworthy talking point, in the end the product must be aesthetically appealing to a large audience in order to succeed—begging the question of whether technology should be made fashionable or should fashion be made more functional? "I do believe the fashion industry should be in the driver's seat and technology should of course be creating the innovation and technology behind this whole effort," said Ildeniz.
The CFDA is on board to offer a long term network for emerging designers in both segments. "Our CFDA strategic engagement will need to bring the engineers—the hardware and the software guys—and create a platform where this conversation [of tech and fashion] occurs and we jointly explore how to make this [product] desirable and aesthetically acceptable for everybody," explains Ildeniz. Visit Intel online to learn more and keep an eye on the collaboration as it continues to develop.
Photo by Josh Rubin