Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

5 Ways to Be a Stylish Cyborg

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

5 Ways to Be a Stylish Cyborg

Article excerpt

Technology is perhaps the most stylish addiction in history, but as our relationship with the omnipresent network continues, consumers are looking for new ways to seamlessly incorporate it into their wardrobe. We are getting pickier about how personal technology looks.

The rage of the conspicuous Fitbit and other fitness bands is giving way to subtler forms of wearable tech that screams style, not just function.

As plans for the Apple Watch approached reality, not just speculation, Nike dropped its lackluster FuelBand fitness bracelet last year. Nike's chief executive officer, Mark Parker, explained at the time that the company was ditching the "geeky" look to embrace a product that was "more stealth, more integrated, more stylish and more functional."

Apple and Nike have been working together on wearable smart technology since 2006, starting with a shoe sensor that worked with a wearer's iPod. The FuelBand was released in 2012. The Apple Watch is due to hit stores this spring.

As devices reach the status of ubiquitous, the status of displaying them is shifting. Technology giants are betting big on smart tech jewelry and accessories. If that catches on, it may eventually seem gauche to walk around carrying a smartphone instead of responding to a message on a ring or bracelet plated in precious metal.

By the way, that previous statement should have been "when this catches on." Among digital natives and technology faithful jokes and videos abound of not-so-distant-future technology that allows people to access digital technology by touching their skin. There is ample proof that our reliance on personal machines and technology makes us cyborgs already. So even if you resist for now, I've got bad news.

Aside from the gimmicks, many of the devices have practical features that make it easier to keep track of your smartphone. Most have proximity alerts if you drift too far away. Although most of us are tethered to the devices, no one is immune to the wild panic of suddenly realizing that you've misplaced a palm-size device that was probably more expensive that your television.

The good news is that being a cyborg will be notable for being inconspicuous. …

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