059 – Wearable Technology

Becky Stern, director of wearables at Adafruit, Dr. Amanda Parkes, chief of technology and research at Manufacture New York, and Google software engineer Alex Kesling talk with Charles Beckwith about the future of fashion from an engineering standpoint.

Recording space for this episode was provided by designers Iuri Shubladze and Luba GnaSevych.

The big questions:

  • 4:20 – how long would it take a designer to get up to speed on working with wearable tech?
  • 6:19 – solving the battery problem
  • 9:49 – do Adafruit tutorial projects teach about garment design like they do electronics design?
  • 11:05 – where are high tech companies failing when they cross with fashion design?
  • 11:45 – what went wrong with the Apple Watch?
  • 19:41 – will sustainable wearable components be ready before the mass market explosion happens?
  • 22:17 – what did Becky Stern do with her Ringly?
  • 23:41 – wearables show-and-tell on the radio
  • 30:29 – what can designers do now that they couldn’t work with a few years ago?
  • 32:28 – issues of scale in manufacturing wearable tech
  • 36:14 – why does wearable tech appear in athletic-wear first?
  • 40:08 – dragging the craft into the 21st century
  • 42:28 – speaking the fashion language
  • 43:28 – program or be programmed
  • 45:34 – what will it take for fashion designers to embrace more technology?
  • 49:49 – Microsoft Band – hack it or hacksaw it?
  • 53:03 – why are we so focused on the wrist?
  • 54:12 – what will designers do with augmented reality?
  • 1:01:15 – a same code faux pas
  • 1:03:12 – what is getting funded and why?

“If you see a thing that your cell phone does, you can make your fashion do that now.” – Becky Stern


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