Female stereotypes must not shape future of wearable tech, says Sony smartwatch designer

Women should not be seen as a clichéd group who only care about the appearance of wearable technology, according to Sony smartwatch designer Tina Karjalainen.

Samsung Gear Fit
Samsung Gear Fit

Speaking at a Soho House panel discussion on the future of wearable tech hosted by Lady Geek, Sony Mobile senior colour and material designer Karjalainen claimed women are driving the more practical elements of wearable tech.   

Karjalainen said: "I don’t think women like to show off about technical specs or standby time, women like convenience and user friendliness so I think that’s where women are pushing the boundaries.

"We should definitely not see women as a clichéd group who only care about appearance. We just want the technology to work and don’t care so much about the how or the why.

"We’ve been discussing appearance a lot, but also I think it is very important we are having fun when we are using these wearable products and it is not only about seeing statistics on your life."

Avid Larizadeh, engineer and creative director at fashion accessories retailer Boticca, believe the wearable technology sector still has work to do when it comes to creating truly inspiration products.

Larizadeh explained: "I’m not inspired by any wearable technology as such. A lot of the stuff is cool but nothing inspires me [even though] we now we have materials to create beautiful things.

"I love my Up [wearable device] more because I think it is cool. It carries this data but I never check the data, I checked it at the beginning and it made me neurotic and I don’t need to be more neurotic."

One wearable device will not dominate the sector because people will want to create their own style, believes Fitbit EMEA vice president of sales Gareth Jones.

He said: "We all have our own individual style so trying to impose one technology on the whole human race is a little bit ridiculous."

Raluca Oltean, Europe lead for Intel’s ‘make it wearable challenge’, explained the wearable technology sector had such huge possibilities because our entire bodies can be seen as "open real estate for wearables".

Although she believes the potential of the sector will only be achieved when a device achieves "the turnaround affect", meaning people will return home to pick up a product they accidentally left at home. 

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