#Trending: Web culture wooing wearables

GIFs, memes and emojis turning up on your tech
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Every week on #Trending we look at a particular trend that we see emerging in the embryonic world of wearable tech. Usually, it's a new feature that's landing on multiple devices, a pattern of similar gadgets being announced or a consumer theme we're seeing develop.

This week's instalment is a little bit more left-field than usual. We've noticed that web culture is taking hold of wearable devices.

We're not talking about cat-themed watch faces for Android Wear (if that's what you're interested in, check out Fit Cat) or a Be Like Bill personal coach on your activity tracker, we're talking about day-to-day cyber-culture activities creeping up and becoming the norm on wearable tech without us really noticing.

WEAR - Emojis on smartwatches

#Trending: Web culture wooing wearables

Already available on both the Apple Watch and Android Wear, Pebble has upped its emoji game by supersizing 12 designs with the latest software update.

Emojis actually landed on smartwatches with the original Pebble introducing them back in 2014 but the Time update makes them full screen. Because why would you send your special someone a message telling them you love them when a big ol' kissy face can do the same thing?

We're not sure we can forgive the guys at Pebble for coining the phrase 'Jumboji' though.


#Trending: Web culture wooing wearables

While not yet able to show off the sneezing panda, or the dramatic chipmunk - Pins Collective is heading in the right direction.

The premise of the smart badge, which has just landed on Indiegogo, is simple - it syncs with your smartphone and allows you to add any design - moving or still - to the digital badge.

The most interesting aspect is that the Stockholm startup plans to release a PinOS platform and a SDK later this year - so we can expect to see GIFS galore being displayed before long.

SQUARE - Neurocouture

#Trending: Web culture wooing wearables

We're not saying this isn't 'cool'. But we can't see it going mainstream. Designer Nayana Malhotra projected memes like Sad Frog and Donald Trumps' face onto oversized ponchos at the VFiles NYFW show.

The models were fitted with EEG sensors via headgear to measure 'emotions' and body temperature and the projections were then set to reflect the model's mood.

Malhotra said: "The graphic and repetitive nature of the GIF makes it a beautiful, ever growing tool. It's a living piece of content and a cultural object at the same time."

How we test

Paul Lamkin


Wareable Media Group co-CEO Paul launched Wareable with James Stables in 2014, after working for a variety of the UK's biggest and best consumer tech publications including Pocket-lint, Forbes, Electric Pig, Tech Digest, What Laptop, T3 and has been a judge for the TechRadar Awards. 

Prior to founding Wareable, and subsequently The Ambient, he was the senior editor of MSN Tech and has written for a range of publications.

Related stories