Feeling a bit over the sporty black bands and glary screens of those clever bits of technology that monitor our fitness and wellness? Not everyone wants to step out looking as if they’re off to the gym or out for a run.
Fortunately, wearable technology companies have recognised this and responded with a range of new products. No longer does monitoring our fitness come at the expense of style. Take your pick and thank your lucky stars that we need not choose between form and function:
Last year, Fitbit partnered with fashion brands Public School and Simply Vera by Vera Wang to create chic versions of its Alta and Flex models.
These tie-ups offer fashion- and health-conscious individuals a good selection of Fitbits—an edgy Alta by Public School comes with a stainless steel band or a paracord bracelet, and Vera Wang’s stylish take on the Flex offers a choice of a chain-link bracelet, double-leather strap, or a combination of both.
Another tech-fashion collaboration, the Apple Watch Hermès, made waves when it debuted in 2015, attracting those looking for a more luxurious and exclusive version of the Apple watch.
The latest version, the Apple Watch Hermès Series 2, was launched last year and displays three different faces representing Hermès’ Clipper, Cape Cod and Espace timepieces. It’s matched with Hermès’ handcrafted leather bands and comes with a trendy double buckle cuff in Swift and Epsom calfskin leather.
Fashion brands Kate Spade and Michael Kors have also released activity trackers. Linked to their respective apps, the Kate Spade New York Scallop Trim Trackers and Michael Kors Access Trackers not only monitor your sleep and keep a tally of your steps and calories burned, they also allow the user to set personal goals and count down to events or celebrations, as well as control music and take selfies.
Not to be outdone, Swarovski partnered with tech company Misfit to develop the Swarovski Activity Crystal bracelet. The crystal-encrusted jewellery doubles as a fitness tracker and a sleep monitor, and with two taps on the central stone, the bracelet turns into a watch.
Leafy Lifestyle Bands
Bellabeat launched Leaf in 2015, a leaf-shaped health and wellness tracker made in natural wood (Leaf Nature) or a composite that resembles stone (Leaf Urban). They can be worn as a necklace, bracelet or clip.
Connected to the Leaf app, these devices monitor the wearer’s movements throughout the day and number of calories burned, and offer guided deep-breathing and meditation exercises. They also chart and analyse the wearer’s sleep cycle and, for those who want to conceive, monitor the menstrual cycle.
The Ela tracker bracelet by Richline Group barely looks like an activity monitor, but there's a lot hidden behind that delicate little piece of jewellery—the smart gemstone keeps tabs on your fitness and internet activity. The Ela comes with a round or square face and a choice of metal bracelets or leather straps.
Ringly’s string of wellness products do their utmost to beautifully conceal the technology that drives them: the bracelets, cocktail rings and pendants are gold-plated and set with gemstones.
The gemstones give off a soft glow and the fitness tracker gently vibrates to notify you of events occurring on your phone, such as calls, messages and updates on social media.
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