#Trending: Bling boosted wearables

There's more to design than slapping on a few jewels and dousing in gold
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For a wearable device to succeed it needs to be, well, wearable.

Obviously comfort and build quality are essential but there also needs to be an element of fashion in order for people to want to strap or clip these connected gadgets to their person.

For tech companies – so long focused on hardware and software, with design aesthetics playing second fiddle (Apple aside, maybe) ­– the boom in wearable devices has seen them offering up a bizarre array of form factors and finishes.

The current trend seems to be to mimic jewellery. The thinking here is straight forward – people have worn jewellery for hundreds of years, so just make devices look like jewellery.

Here's three recent offerings – each with a varying level, in our opinion, of success in walking this jewellery path…

WEAR – Altruis

#Trending: Bling boosted wearables

We fell a little bit in love with Altrius this summer – check out our full review. It's has relaunched "in time for Christmas".

Altruis is the first product from Vinaya, the London-based research and design house formerly known as Kovert Designs. It's a connected ceramic stone that can be worn in a gold or silver-plated ring, bracelet or necklace and only vibrates when you get an important message.

Once you've bought one piece, you can buy more accessories separately too and swap the same stone about from ring to bracelet to pendant. Fashionistas wouldn't even guess this was wearable tech.

NEARLY THERE – LG Watch Urbane Luxe

#Trending: Bling boosted wearables

The Urbane is already one of the most stylish Android Wear devices and, given the Korean company is only releasing this 23-karat, alligator leather, edition in limited quantities, we'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

"This blending of craftsmanship and technology is a natural evolution of the smartwatch, which is becoming more of a lifestyle accessory than a piece of hardware," said Chris Yie, vice president and head of marketing communications for LG.

It went on sale through Reeds this week – priced at a cool $1,200.

SQUARE – Polar Loop 2 Swarovski edition

#Trending: Bling boosted wearables

We feel a bit sorry for Polar. It's been knocking up wearable tech for years, long before Apple, Google, Samsung and co. got involved. And while the quality of its sports-focused devices have continued to impress in the new-age of wearables, we fear it's missing the mark somewhat when it comes to design.

The Polar Loop was a great, if somewhat bulky, activity tracker and the Loop 2 added enough features to the mix to warrant a sequel. But we're not sure a crystal-encrusted version was really needed.

While the Misfit Swarovski Shine may not be to everybody's tastes – you could see it being paired with evening wear and not looking too out of place.

This bling'd up Polar though? We can't exactly see it being the belle of the ball.

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.

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