Evolving wearable tech with empathy

19 Jan 2016

We were intrigued to see that Iris Apfell, the 94-year old grand dame of fashion, has released a range of ‘Wisewear’ wearable tech jewellery.

The self-proclaimed ‘geriatric starlet’ has created a collection of pieces that monitor the wearer’s activity and sleep, much like Fitbit and other activity trackers. The collection offers a chic alternative for consumers who don’t want to advertise that they’re wearing a tracker or would prefer something more subtle.

What is particularly interesting is that these pieces also include a unique distress setting that enables the wearer to send a message to a pre-prepared list of contacts, along with a geolocation and a sound / video recording, by tapping the bracelet with a custom sequence.

Inspired by Iris’ own experience (she has undergone two hip operations in the past as a result of accidents) and her concern for friends who have suffered frequent, and sometimes fatal, falls, the feature means that wearers can immediately send a distress signal wherever they are in the case of an accident. Wisewear highlights that the unique safety feature is also particularly relevant for women who may feel threatened or endangered in order to alert loved ones of their location.

The collection demonstrates the power of consumer insight – when it is driven by empathy – opening the category up to an older audience, while addressing some of the existing audience’s wider concerns. A genius new piece of tech inspired by a very cool lady.

Written by  David Goudge