Here at Wareable, we’ve already argued as to why we need more smartwatches designed for women, so it’s encouraging to see that an increasing number of female CEOs, designers and influencers setting the wearable agenda are female.
Obviously it’s not just women that are emerging as the leaders of the wearables pack, but it does appear to be area of tech with a noticeably large number of females calling the shots.
This is important, not just in terms of levelling the playing field in the traditionally male-dominated world of tech, but it also ensures that female consumers aren't fobbed off with ‘unisex’ products that are clearly designed with only men in mind.
So without further ado, we list the ladies flying the flag for wearable tech:
Senior Industrial Designer, Google
While it has yet to hit the mass market, it’s fair to say that Google Glass is one of the most talked about products in the wearable tech sphere, perhaps the entire tech world. It was Isabelle Olsson who was tasked with the job of the making the original clunky Glass prototype both comfortable and attractive to look at, defining the look of the most recognisable wearable around.
Olsson grew up in Sweden where she studied fine art and industrial design and also worked on Samsung TVs and the Nook Color ereader before joining Google.
Founder & CEO, Decoded Fashion
Bacelar founded Decoded fashion back in 2011 with the goal of bringing together tech founders and 'decision-makers' in fashion beauty and retail through dedicated events. An Emmy-nominated CBS news producer, Bacelar was quick to spot the the natural correlation between fashion and technology and argues that designers need to embrace tech, not just from a design angle but also when it comes to mobile, commercial and social strategies.
While not started as a women’s initiative, Decoded has become a popular platform for pitches from female-led tech startups.
Independent french jewellery designer Camille Toupet was responsible for the look of June - a bracelet with a gem-like stone that incorporates a sensor to monitor sun exposure. The wearable was announced at CES 2014 by Neatatmo, better known for its smart thermostat. The wearable pairs with an iOS app to keep you posted on how much sun you’re getting, what SPF you should be wearing and when to don a hat or sunnies.
With Toupet having previously collaborated with luxury fashion brands Louis Vuitton and Harry Winston, she has blazed a trail for high-end designer input into wearable design, something we're likely to see even more of in 2015.
Essential reading: Best designer wearable tech
CEO & Co-founder, Ringly
Ringly is a smart ring that notifies the wearer of texts, emails and social updates from their phone. The woman behind the company, Christina Mercando, argues that adoption of wearable technology will ultimately boil down to how good a product looks because no matter how good it is, people simply won’t wear it if it doesn’t look stylish.
Crucially, the product is something that many would choose to wear even if it didn’t have any smart capability. The same can’t be said of many other wearables on the market.
Essential reading: 8 wearables that are more chic than geek
CEO & Co-founder, Lumo BodyTech
Second-time startup entrepreneur Perkash teamed up co-founders Charles Wang and Andrew Chang to produce the Lumo Lift - a smart device that tracks the user’s posture.
While it’s necessary for many wearables to focus on aesthetics, Lumo’s focus on the health sector proves that there’s also room for simply designed products that deal with serious problems - in this case addressing the large number of individuals that suffer from back pain exacerbated by bad posture.
Check it out: Lumo Lift review
Co-founder of Crated
Crated is a design consultancy that focuses on combining wearable tech product development with fashion. Concentrating more on the technology of fashion than wearable gadgets, the brand is making waves with Kussman as one of those at the helm. Using 3D printing as well as 3D computation design, perviously the territory of architects and animators, the brand aims to create sustainable products.
This is a great example of how wearable technology stretches far beyond the idea of the smartwatch towards clothing oozing with new tech innovations.
Leslie Simmons Pierso
Co-founder & CEO, MEMI
MEMI is a smart bracelet that Pierson created after she found that she regularly missed important calls when her iPhone was stored away in her bag. A former strategy consultant, Pierson and co-Founder Margaux Guerard (pictured right) crowd-funded the project on Kickstarter - an increasingly successful route to market for wearable tech, with the Pebble smartwatch leading the way.
MEMI is a great example of a female-focused wearable resulting from a problem that is more relevant to women - the fact that their phone is usually tucked away in a bag rather than in a handy-to-reach pocket.
VP New Devices Group, Intel
Holding senior positions at Intel since 1998, Turkish Ayse Ildeniz is now spearheading the brand’s move into wearables starting with the MICA connected bracelet. Intel teamed up with fashion house Opening Ceremony, luxury US retailer Barneys and the Council of Fashion Designers of America to launch the product.
Ildeniz, who is also founder of the Women in IT platform and sits on the boards of several organisations for female and Turkish entrepreneurs, stresses the importance of working relationships between tech companies that create functional gadgets and fashion companies that can make them look desirable.
Full interview: Our chat with Ayse about Intel and her vision for wearable tech
Founder & CEO, Cuff
Due to land in April 2015, Cuff not only sends the usual notifications to your smartphone, but can also be used as a fitness tracker as well as to keep you safe. The user can use an alert button on the bracelet to send a quick message to a friend or relative in case of emergency. With a background in journalism and law, Deepa Sood went into product development before coming up with the idea of modular CuffLinc technology, which can be swapped in and out of an expanding range of jewellery.
The debut collection includes nine different pieces to choose from, including a pendant. Modular tech is also being explored by Blocks, which was a finalist in the Intel Make It Wearable competition.
Vice President Wearable Sports Electronics, Adidas
Formerly founder and CEO of electro-textiles pioneer Textronics, which concentrated on wearable sensors for fitness and health tracking, Burr sold the company to Adidas and is now one of the leaders in the wearable tech field.
The Adidas miCoach monitoring platform continues Adidas’ long tradition of using innovation to help athletes perform better and transferring that technology from pros to casual runners. The ultimate goal, says Burr, is helping people to embrace a lifestyle of bespoke fitness and activity.
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