Wearable technology has to be the biggest buzz phrase of 2014 and our obsession with all things gadgets is apparently going to peak this Christmas season. Our pals over at Samsung have told us — not to get all statistical on you — that the wearable tech industry is set to be worth a HUGE £104.7million this Christmas in the UK alone. To out it into a context that we can digest, that's like 116,988 Mulberry Bayswater totes and yep; we're talking about the big one.
In short, the market and demand is huge (way bigger than we've given it credit for) and its started to infiltrate our lives whether we know it or not.
Who hasn't looked into the Nike Fuelband to enhance their workout? Or donned a device that counts the steps you take on a daily basis? We've all embraced wearable tech in one way or another, but now it seems like it's the must-have gift of the festive season. Who knew?
Now, we know what you're thinking. Wearable tech has a nasty rep of being, for the lack of a better word, ugly. Unsightly. Outfit destroying. Ok, so we might be getting a bit carried away but lets face it; it's never looked great paired with your LBD.
That was, until now...
Seeing a major gap in the market for fashionable wearable technology that women actually want to wear around the clock and not just on the treadmill, several brands have got in on the stylish tech action with some very covetable designs. We've whittled down our absolute favourites that are going to change the way you think about wearable tech forever.
Rose Gold-Plated Cleopatra Ring, £320, Kovert Design
Yes, this really is wearable tech. This brand new company only launched their innovative pieces just last week and they've already secured a place on Net-A-Porter's impressive roster for 2015, so you know you're on to a good thing...
Rather than bombard you with apps you'll just never use, the Kovert Design initiative is all about giving you the power over technology. If, like us, you're more in the habit of toting your phone around 24/7 than actually enjoying having it around, you can programme the Kovert ring (it also comes in necklace form) to vibrate when you get an important call, e-mail or text; allowing you to leave your phone in your bag or at your desk when you're doing more important things WITHOUT missing out on the stuff you actually want and need to know about.
It's so clever you can set it to recognise trigger words, so if your friend or member of your fam should need you urgently but can't get a hold of you all they would have to do is text or e-mail you a buzz word of your choice and the ring/necklace will vibrate to alert you. Similarly, you can set it so it only triggers when certain phone numbers call you, eliminating those tele-marketing pick ups tenfold.
Oh, and did we mention it looks super sleek? Here's our digital fashion & beauty writer Maxine Eggenberger trying it out for the first time. Proof this ring wouldn't look out of place on your next girl's night out. It comes in white and black stones with your choice of rose gold, yellow gold or silver finishes.
With updates and new features still to come, this is definitely our wearable tech one to watch. Shop it here.
Fitbit Gold Necklace, £155 and Fitbit Rose Gold Bracelet, £175, both Tory Burch
Tory Burch was one of the first to embrace the techy trend and it's still going strong. With their edgy maze-like design, they look seriously stylish on your wrist or around your neck, blending in with your fashionable attire seamlessly. Available in rose gold, yellow gold and silver tones, there's one to suit you no matter your style.
Getting swiftly to the point, they house the Fitbit device that tracks your activity and sleep rates allowing you to really stay on top on the thing that matters most; your health. The slim, minimalistic design is ideal for wearing with your existing jewels while the add-on Fitbit tech can report on all the most important stats, including steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, active minutes and sleep, and syncs wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.0 to practically every device known to man for instant access to up-to-date data and progress.
Don't ask us how it does it — it just does, OK?! — but we're majorly impressed with this one.
Previously only available in the US, the jewellery has now just hit British soil in time for the festive period and yes; it's totally on our wish list. Get the necklace and the bracelet here and click this link for the Fitbit device (which is £79.99).
Other brands are now starting to sit up and take note about the wearable tech phenomenon; US brand Opening Ceremony — who sent its models strutting down the AW14 runway rocking Google Glass — has created a very cool cuff complete with ornate stones and luxe metals that can do all of the above as well as hiding a sleek 1.6 inch touchscreen.
Dubbed MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory), it's only available to buy in America at present though you'll still have to get through the waiting list to get your paws on one. However, we have it on good authority that they're headed to the UK very soon. Coming in at a cool $495 (or around £315), we're already starting to save up for this bad boy...
So, there you have it; fashionable wearable tech is no longer a thing of the future. But will a piece really be on your Santa list? Tweet us @InStyle_UK and let us know...
By Maxine Eggenberger