Fitness trackers have been around for a few years now, though the market exploded only in 2014, and became a talking point with the launch of the Apple watch earlier this year. But could there ever be a point of contact between smartwatches and luxury? Do we really need to be able to make calls, monitor heart rate, control music, and send emails from the wrist? Apparently so...
There have been countless bad predictions about technology, from H.M. Warner’s famous “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” to Marechal Foch’s “Aeroplanes are interesting toys but of no military value,” and so luxury brands, by nature traditional, are showing considerable interest. This is good news for the fashion-forward, because fitness trackers generally focus more on function than looks, and so they are perfect when you’re at the gym, or paired with your favourite running gear. But if you want to track how many calories you’ve burned dancing the night away at a wedding, traditional models might not fit the bill.
Tory Burch now offers a line of bracelets and necklaces designed to discretely house the Fitbit Flex’s main components. With her traditional geometric designs, these pieces are offered in a variety of combinations of metals and leather.
Tory Burch for FitBit, courtesy of Marin Magazine
Swarovski has designed glittering wrap bracelets in a variety of colours and styles and stunning pendants to house the Misfit fitness tracker.
Swarovski Shine Slake
Opening Ceremony and Intel have also partnered to produce smart technology that looks good. The MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory) smart bracelet is made in gold, snakeskin, pearls and precious stone. It runs independently from a smartphone and can deliver text messages, calendar notifications and much more, with a 3.5 cm sapphire touchscreen.
Open Ceremony and Intel's MICA
Bulgari has decided to embrace the future with its Diagono Magnesium, a mechanical watch which incorporates an electronic key that, in the near future, can be used to make payments, open doors and cars, with total security by means of sophisticated encryption. Jean-Christophe Babin, President of the Bulgari Group, said, “While certain brands offer watches subject to rapid obsolescence, we are offering a self-winding, sustainable luxury watch, like all Bulgari luxury watches!”
Related: Top 10 high-tech gadgets 2015
Diagono Magnesium by Bulgari
Montblanc have found a different solution for marrying wearable technology with a traditional watch. The e-Strap is an independent unit that slides onto the strap of a watch like the TimeWalker Urban Speed, so that it sits on the underside of the wrist, doing all it has to do – notifications, activity tracking, remote control of a smartphone – in perfect discretion. And this is probably where the luxury fitbit is headed: state-of-the-art functions in a prestige setting.