Fashion and technology. They’re not a classic combination, but in this overwhelmingly digital world it’s only going to become more frequent that the two collide. You may have read my post last month on The Future of Online Shopping, in which I discuss how the digital age is shaping the way we shop. Today I’ve got two more fashion + tech mash-ups I want to share: Cuff, a line of technology infused jewelry, and ThirdLove, an app that will help you buy a better fitting bra. Let’s explore the latest in fashionable technology!
Cuff is a wearable technology developed by former Vice President of Product Development for the retail chain Restoration Hardware, Deepa Sood. Sood created a device called a CuffLinc that can be interchanged between a number of bracelets, necklaces, and key chains designed to hold the technology. So, what does it do? CuffLinc connects to a Cuff app on your smartphone via Bluetooth. When you squeeze the CuffLinc, a ping is sent to the designated person or people in the wearer’s network, either to their smartphones or to their Cuff device in the form of a vibration. The primary intended use for the device is in a distressing situation, such as getting lost out on a run in a new city. The alerts are fully customization, for example your babysitter might use three squeezes to alert you there’s something wrong with one of the kids while you’re at a play or your elderly grandparent might use two squeezes to alert you they’re in need. The device is also waterproof, has a battery life of one year, and is pretty reasonably priced, particularly compared to some of its wearable tech counterparts. The CuffLinc itself is $30, and the compatible jewelry and accessories range from about $35 to $125. Currently, all of the Cuff technology is available for pre-order and is set to release later this year, likely in the fall. The brand also has plans to partner with other fashion designers in the future to created Cuff-compatible products.
As women we know one of the most difficult items to shop for is a properly fitting bra. According to a Women’s Wear Daily survey of 10,000 woman, 64% of women are wearing the wrong size bra and of that 64%, 29% admit to knowing they’re wearing the wrong size bra! I got a bra fitting as a twenty-first birthday gift, and as over dramatic as it is to say, it was literally life changing. I’m a large-busted girl, particularly for my petite 5’2″ frame, and after wearing the right size bra, I realized my clothes fit better and my bust actually looked smaller even though my bra was bigger. Thirdlove is taking bra fitting to a whole new level, one they argue is actually more effective than an in person fitting. The San Francisco based start-up created a mobile app that pairs with computer vision technology. So, how does it work? You use the Thirdlove mobile app on your smartphone to take a photo of yourself in a tank in front of a mirror (it’s a little more specific than that, but the nice lady on the app walks you through the steps completely). Then, the partnered computer vision technology analyzes the 2-D image to extract 3-D data used to generate your bra size. Thirdlove also sells their own line of lingerie, including sizing redefined with half cup sizes and in between band sizes and bra personalizations of color and style. The app is free and you can browse their site, so give it a try and see for yourself!
UPDATE: Please read this very interesting follow up to this post by Fashionista.com: For Many Designers, Wearable Technology Remains Something of a Mystery