Are you at New York Fashion Week? Will you be tuning in to take a look at Apple's own connected device fashion event inside its temporary building at the Flint Center tomorrow? You should be -- it could be as significant as what you'll see in NYC.
Why else has the company flown in some of the top names in fashion and style journalism from across the planet to attend the event? Fashion Week doesn’t end until later this week, so what might Apple's compelling proposition be?
We all expect iPhone and iWatch, but I think Apple's also been imagining an ecosystem for wearable devices from any big fashion brand.
Apple's wooing of the fashion press: "Confirms that they have a play in wearables and that they want to appeal to the fashion world, and not just technology consumers," said Lauren Indvik, editor in chief for Fashionista.
Lea Goldman of Marie Claire magazine said: "This suggests Apple is serious about tapping into the fashion world, which often sits on the sidelines."
Beyond health: a platform for fashion
With key fashion talent now within its core executive team, Apple last month ran a fashion-focused event showcasing fashion and retail apps to a group of style editors, Reuters has said.
Apple wants to raise interest in the fashion industry and we recognise it has made deep investment in this quest.
If you think about HomeKit and HealthKit, Apple is developing a platform designers can easily access in order to develop a new market for 21st Century connected fashion products.
Enabling fashionistas to focus on design, not software, is why Apple's HealthKit system automatically supports devices running Bluetooth LE, making it much easier for third parties to manufacture iOS-compatible solutions.
Apple is a mass-market company and surely recognizes that fashion conscious people don’t necessarily want to be defined as techy types. It needs to widen its platform with new partnerships in order to deliver the kind of diversity you expect in fashion. It needs to enable technologies and allow designers to set the trend.
What's on the cakewalk?
If you think about the clothing you bought a decade ago and the sort of smart items you can imagine today, we've come a long way:
- Ski equipment with built-in maps and help alarms
- Running kit with built in sensors
- Football helmets that monitor players for concussion
- Solutions of this kind are already available or in development -- Ralph Lauren last month announced an iOS-compatible Polo Tech sports shirt.
The fashion industry will not ignore the potential of wearable technology on its industry.
Fashion isn't a luddite force -- some designers are already experimenting with designing clothes for printing by 3D printers.
I've heard just enough non-specific whispers in recent weeks to expect to see how the company plans to bind its solutions into a platform for wearables. I'm hoping to see some interesting cutting edge examples of wearable solutions to problems we didn't know we had before. Please check back here at Computerworld for more information as it emerges from Apple's alternative fashion show.
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- Mark my words: What Samsung will learn from Apple's iWatch
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