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Wearables as Jewelry: Why and How
   2014-10-27 17:53:28    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xie Tingting

The Lisa smartwatch is designed to help mothers-to-be enjoy the process of counting their babies' kicks. [Photo courtesy of Adding Inc.]

Misfit has introduced Bloom Necklace for wearers of its Shine activity and sleep monitor. [Photo: misfitwearables.com]

Tony Lee learned two things from his wife's pregnancy. A) For pregnant women in the last trimester, counting fetal movements is a basic way for them to check if their babies are okay; and B) Pregnant women can get really bored by the daily counting task.

Lee was the chief executive officer of a tech startup in Beijing called Adding, and so he ended up launching a smartwatch, named after his wife Lisa, which helps mothers-to-be enjoy the process of counting their babies' kicks.

A long-press on the Lisa smartwatch screen can record a kick. The wearer can sync each day's data with her smartphone, and get a detailed chart of all daily fetal movements, accompanied by a medical analysis carried out by the Lisa App. For postpartum women who exercise to regain their body shape, the smartwatch also functions as a calorie tracker.

The first batch of 1,000 Lisa smartwatches sold out since first going on sale in July. Although the idea of merging technology with pregnancy may have had a part to play in the success of the smartwatch, according to the marketing director of Adding, Tina Zhang, this marriage of convenience is not the only reason for the product's popularity.

"We designed Lisa with luxury watches in mind. Our users' first reaction is always like, 'Very stylish; very fashionable.' They are attracted by how it looks at first, then what it does," Tina Zhang explains when recalling customer feedback on the watch. "They shared photos of their watches in WeChat, getting kind words from their friends. And that made them feel confident," Zhang adds.

It's not only pregnant women who need something to boost their self-confidence. Makers of wearable devices believe that their products can be a symbol for every individual who chooses to wear them.

Wallace Wu, vice president of Misfit, says he has personally met many people who wear Misfit's Shine activity tracker as jewelry - these people wore Misfit Shine for a long time without realizing that they had forgotten to install a battery.

Misfit Shine has attracted rave reviews for its elegant, all-metal, minimalistic design. Although Misfit is essentially a tech company, it has decided to introduce a variety of accessories and by-products for Shine wearers, such as a necklace, T-shirts, and socks.

Wallace Wu highlights the fashion element in wearable design, noting that, "A good wearable device is first of all desirable. You decide to wear it not because you need to track your activity. Rather, you wear it because you think it fits your style. It has to get into your regular life."

To explore more possibilities between technology and fashion, Misfit is collaborating with 360Fashion Network, a company that provides technical ideas for the fashion industry.

During a recent tech event in Beijing, 360Fashion Network's founder and former fashion model Anina Net displayed a necklace made of dozens of Misfit Shine trackers.

Anina Net believes fashion designers can help make a difference when it comes to wearable devices, pointing out that, "If companies stay with male-dominated, engineering-primary employees, (and) they don't hire or work together with people who understand fashion, you'll never get anything different."

"Fashion is a lifestyle. According to what I'm wearing, I'm making a statement about myself. That's why we are working with great companies and mash them together with couture designers and designers who have this vision and know what they want to do," said Anina Net, who attended the event wearing a scarf dotted by Misfit Shine trackers.

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