Yesterday, when the U.S. Postal service described its forthcoming clothing line as “wearable electronics,” we wondered, “what the hell is that supposed to mean?” Then we noticed that a couple examples of wearable electronics have been in the news of late. There’s Apple’s rumored wristphone/watch thing. And the Google Glass, which made fashion headlines back in September when models wore them down the runway at Diane von Furstenberg–and which Google is now starting to seriously promote.
The Google Glass is basically a device which puts the Internet in your eye at all times, and you can tell it to do things like take pictures or videos and give you driving directions. In addition to sounding a bit overwhelming, it’s not the most aesthetically appealing “wearable electronic” we’ve ever seen.
In fact, Wired and the New York Times both recently published articles examining this new challenge Google and other technology companies are having to face: Making “wearable electronics” stylish when style is not really their area of expertise.
Even consumers who like and are able to afford the technology may be hesitant to wear something as awkward as a chunk of plastic on their foreheads, likely to elicit strange looks from passersby.
Enter Warby Parker, hip purveyors of classic, stylish, buy-a-pair, give-a-pair eyewear preferred by all the stylish people we know who don’t wear overpriced designer glasses (myself included). Google is said to be in talks with the New York-based startup according to the “two people briefed on the negotiations” cited by the Times. Considering the fact that WP is one of few companies to have successfully conquered both fashion and tech, they’re probably the right people for Google to partner with. Though, we’re still not sure how they’d make the Google Glass look normal. We’ve reached out to Warby Parker and will report back when we know more.
It’s an interesting challenge for both parties involved. We all know fashion has been notoriously slow to embrace technology–but is technology any more keen on embracing fashion? Perhaps this could be the subject of the next Decoded Fashion Forum.
Until then, Google is currently accepting applications from “bold, creative individuals” who want to try the glasses first. BryanBoy? Leandra?