As smartphone manufacturers are paying more attention to their female consumers by embedding beautification software (check ZTE phone here) on their devices, fashion’s biggest names are adding smarts to glamorous accessories. I found Michael Kors, Misfit, Skagen in hall 7 and was pretty curious to see how their “reverse engineering” worked. #objectmagic
Can a glam wristwatch adapt to these times and add smart functions without losing anything of its fashionable allure? Michael Kors seemed to be onto something. Their Access smartwatches retain the original design and come with metallic straps in gold, silver, rose gold and sable-tone but also a large variety in silicone and leather for women. Men have fewer options, designed with silicone for the most part.
Michael Kors gives smartwatches a luxury feel
At MK, the idea is simple. People want activity trackers, notifications, voice commands at their wrist; all the tech this world can bring basically, with one condition: to look good. So that’s what they did. The colorful, decadent wrist straps were met by equally (if not more) glam watch faces. As with the Gear S3, you can choose from a multitude of designs with crystals, hearts and even maps of the world, in various colors. Kors even gives you the possibility to set a go-to watch face for day and night, matching them with your outfit.
But what does Access do, besides counting the hours and looking pretty? It has the basic functions you’ve come to expect from a good smartwatch. It keeps track of your sleep and activity, congratulating you when a goal is achieved, and displays app notifications so you can quickly switch to your phone. It supports voice commands and has IP67 which means it’s dust and water resistant.
The cool thing? Unlike the Gear S3, the 46mm version is reserved for men while the women can take advantage of a smaller display of 44.5mm. It’s a small difference that counts in the end. Price starts from $350.
Misfit Ray is synonym with discretion in activity trackers
Since I hate wearing anything on my wrist while I type, I was advised to check out Ray from Misfit at IFA. Indeed, the brand brought several series of their trackers, circular ones similar to watches called Shine and the latest one, Ray. I found this one really different from the likes of Fitbit and even Tomtom’s fitness tracker (also unveiled at IFA) because it’s designed to be discreet.
Misfit Ray has a slim silicone strap that doesn’t draw attention and a cylinder made of aluminum or stainless steel that prople would mistake for a minimalist token. Yet, Misfit Ray is water resistant, keeps track of steps, calories, distance and your sleep. You can even set goals if you want to start fall with a total changed attitude in the wellness department.
The LED featured on the Ray will change in order to show you how closer you are from reaching your goal but believe me, you’re likely to forget which color says what. If you feel like there’s more behind that cylinder, you’re actually right. It can be turned into a button if you download the Misfit Link App. By tapping it, it will help you take a selfie, control music or advance slides if you’re in a meeting. Much more appealing now, huh? I thought the same, once they told me everything it can do.
Best of all? The Ray doesn’t need charging, since it works with three batteries that are bound to be replaced after 6 months or so, not sooner. Price: $99.
Bottom line: As much as we crave for big battery life, dozens of functions and super resistance, design still matters more. We want to be the proud owners of something beautiful and smart and fashion brands know that. They’re betting on luxury materials, minimalist design and pretty displays to stand out from the crowd. But will consumers trust these newcomers more than renowned companies that have dedicated their existence to smart devices?