Many hands make light (emitting diodes) work. Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) gets down to designing fashion technology (#fashtech) solutions in a fun maker event with a serious research and learning intent. OAUX Senior Director and resident part-time fashion blogger, Ultan “Gucci Translate” O’Broin (@ultan), reports from the Redwood City runway.
Fashion and Technology: So, What’s New?
Wearable technology is not new. Elizabeth I of England was a regal early adopter. In wearing an “armlet” given to her by Robert Dudley, First Earl of Leicester in 1571, the Tudor Queen set in motion that fusion of wearable technology and style that remains, as evident in the Fitbits and Apple Watches of today.
Elizabeth I’s device was certainly fly, described as being “in the closing thearof a clocke, and in the forepart of the same a faire lozengie djamond without a foyle, hanging thearat a rounde juell fully garnished with dyamondes and a perle pendaunt.”
Regardless of the time we live in, for wearable tech to be successful, it must look good: It’s got to appeal to our sense of fashion. Technologists remain cognizant of involving clothing experts in production and branding decisions. For example, at Google I/O 2016, Google and Levi’s announced an interactive jacket based on the Google Jacquard technology that transforms areas of the Levi’s Commuter jacket into a touch- and gesture-sensitive surfaces, allowing wearers of the jacket to control mobile experiences, such as listening to music, without using a hand-held device.
Fashion Technology Maker Event: OAUX Couture
Misha Vaughan’s (@mishavaughan) OAUX Communications and Outreach team joined forces with Jake Kuramoto’s (@jkuramot) AppsLab (@theappslab) Emerging Tech folks recently in a joint maker event at Oracle HQ to design and build wearable tech solutions that brought the world of fashion and technology (#fashtech) together.
(L-R) Julian Orr (@orr_ux) and intern David Xie flash off those word-face smart watches while Tawny Le (@ihearttanie) creates an interactive glove solution for aspiring keyboardists of all sorts.
The event included the creation of interactive light skirts, smart watch word faces, touch-sensitive drum gloves, sound-reactive jewelry, and more from the Adafruit wearables collection.
(L-R) Sarahi Mireles (@sarahimireles) and Ana Tomescu (@annatomescu) work on a fiber-optic pixie skirt.
(L-R) Sew cool! Kathy Miedema (@klbmiedema) and Raymond Xie (@YuhuaXie) exchange maker tips. Knit one, PERL one, anyone?
The occasion was a hive of activity, with sewing machines, soldering irons, hot-glue guns, Arduino technology, fiber-optic cables, LEDs, 3D printers, and the rest, and a diverse range of maker skills all in evidence during the production process.
Makers, shmakers: 3D printing and sewing machines were part of the toolkits available to the emerging tech fashionistas.
Peace, man: 3D printed cases were provided for the assembly of the NeoPixel Peace Pendants from the Adafruit wearables collection.
PiMP my glove, baby! Michael LaDuke ready to make fashion and technology go hand-in-hand with his MIDI drum glove kit.
Fashtech events like this also offer opportunities of discovery, as the team found out how interactive synth drum gloves can not only create music, but be used as input devices to write code, too. Why limit yourself to one kind of keyboard?
Discovery, design, development: All part of the maker’s day. (L-R) Noel Portugal (@noelportugal), Raymond Xie, and Lancy Silveira ( @LancyS) get ready for the big reveal!
Wearable Tech in the Enterprise: A New Dress Code
What does this all this fashioning of solutions mean for the enterprise? Wearable technology is part of the OAUX Glance, Scan, Commit design philosophy, key to that mobility strategy reflecting our cloud-driven world of work. Smart watches are as much part of the continuum of devices we use interchangeably throughout the day as smart phones, tablets, or laptops are, for example. To coin a phrase from OAUX Group Vice President Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley) at the recent Maker Faire event, in choosing what best works for us, be it clothing or technology: one size does not fit all.
Maker events such as ours fuel creativity and innovation in the enterprise. They inspire the creation of human solutions using technology, ones that represent a more human way of working.
A distinction between what tech we use and what we wear for work and at home is no longer convenient. We’ve moved from BYOD to WYOD. Unless that wearable tech, a deeply personal device and style statement all in one, reflects our tastes and sense of fashion we won’t use it unless we’re forced to. The #fashtech design heuristic is make it beautiful or make it invisible. So let’s avoid wearables becoming swearables and style that tech, darling!
If you're an Oracle Partner interested in what these kind of events mean for growing your Oracle Cloud business, then stay tuned to the Oracle Usable Apps in the Cloud blog for more information, or contact us though your usual channels.