News

Seen At 11: Merging High Tech & High Style In Wearable Technology

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)  – We use our handheld smartphones for just about everything, but soon they may be a thing of the past.

As CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported, everyday technology can now be built right into our clothes and accessories, letting you actually wear it rather than carry it around.

A tennis pro working on his game while wearing what looks like your average run-of-the-mill workout shirt could actually be monitoring his heart rate, respiration and other body functions simply by wearing a new “bio sensing garment” developed by Ralph Lauren.

“The technology is really in the materials that are weaved through the shirt,” said David Lauren, Executive Vice President of Ralph Lauren. “There’s a small box which is like a battery that can transmit to your phone.”

Ralph Lauren’s cutting-edge tops made their debut on the ball boys at this year’s U.S. Open.

“When major fashion designers are getting on board and really making wearables beautiful, and that’s the key. People may get turned on by them and start to adopt them,” Mashable Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff said.

A group of NYU students turned an ordinary hoodie into a high-tech wearable by sewing in sensors with special conductive threads. The zip-up sweatshirt was specially wired to send pre-programmed messages with the touch of a button.

“If you’re walking down the street alone, and if you want to really call 911, but you don’t want to pull your phone out,” master’s student Rucha Patwardhan said as she showed off the sweatshirt.

Other manufacturers created convenience in their wearable tech designs.

Built into a cap, sweatband and earmuffs from designer “1 Voice” is a wireless way to listen to music or answer your phone.

“If you’re wearing the beanie and you get a call, you’ll hear in your sound discs and there’s a button on the back of the beanie and you just click the button and you can start talking,” 1 Voice chief executive officer Girish Karnani said.

There’s also high-tech style built into jewelry made by Q Designs, like a bracelet that actually charges your phone.

“You simply just plug it in, and you can see it start charging your phone,” Q Designs CEO James Kernan said.

“The whole point of wearables is that they are going to be intelligent yet beautiful and you are really going to want to wear them,” Ulanoff said.

There are also devices that let you monitor your children’s vitals.

Tech experts say this is just the beginning for high style and high-tech designs.

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