L2 released today the Intelligence Report: Wearables in partnership with Intel. Worldwide shipments for wearable devices are estimated to reach 90 million in 2014, double the previous year due to the increasing appeal of fitness trackers. However, just three months after the prediction was made in January, Nike fired engineers of its FuelBand division and announced it would do away with external devices and take a software-based approach to fitness tracking. These discrepancies beg the question of whether wearables are a fad or here to stay.
The answer – as emphasized in the report – depends on how well the tech and fashion industries are able to coordinate their efforts and resources. Fashion brands are experts in what few tech brand brands have done: instilling a desire in consumers to wear accessories not for utility, but to signal desirable characteristics. That’s more that can be said for Google Glass.
A few fashion and tech companies have been partnering to create appealing wearable devices. Intel is working with Opening Ceremony on a bracelet to be sold at Barneys. Tory Burch has collaborated with Apple’s Fitbit to create a wearable bracelet, and Google has partnered with Luxottica to insert more mass appeal in its Glass products. And news broke today that Diane Von Furstenberg designed Google Glass frames will be for sale on Net-a-Porter. For more on how these brands, and others, are working to gain a share of the wearables market download an excerpt of the report.