As we look forward to a year of new and exciting wearables, fashion tech, and (hopefully) things-we-have-yet-to-imagine, it seemed appropriate to look back at the most popular stories of 2016. This year’s top stories serve as a nice representation of what is happening in the industry at a macro level. Our top story of the year covers fashionable fitness trackers and as we move down the list we cover smartwatches, fashion tech, and connected devices. Take a look below to see what your fellow readers care the most about and thanks for making 2016 the best year yet for Circuits And Cable Knit!
Fitbit Partnering With Public School On Line Of Accessories
This was by far one of the most popular stories of 2016. When you think of fitness trackers, fashionable is probably not the first thing that comes to mind (probably not even the 10th!) but Fitbit was determined to change that when they partnered with NYC fashion brand Public School New York on a line of accessories. Based on how popular the story was, clearly it was a smart move. Check out the story to find out more!
Apple’s watchOS 3 Introduces Redesigned User Interface Behavior
We already know that the Apple Watch is one of the most popular smartwatches on the market and the popularity of this story (2x the next most popular post) reinforces that. While the Apple Watch itself didn’t see a significant redesign this year, the software powering it (watchOS) was completely reimagined. The wearable shed its focus on communication and instead honed in on usability and fitness. The device’s one button was repurposed, the entire idea of glances was abandoned, and apps became easier to access. This year’s watchOS 3 release was important for the evolution of the Apple Watch and shows an understanding by the company of how people are actually using their device. Read more about all of the changes here.
Samsung Announces Gear S3 Smartwatch With GPS, LTE, & iOS Support
After years of being a niche smartwatch producer, Samsung hit it out of the park in 2015 with their exciting Gear S2 smartwatch. The device’s innovative rotating bezel, sharp design, and wise introduction of Android support made it one of the top smartwatches of the year. This year they followed up their success with the Gear S3. While the company was reluctant to mess too much with a good thing, they added GPS, a mic and speaker, and one version with LTE connectivity. Until Google allows manufacturers to customized Android Wear and create a point of differentiation, Samsung’s Gear S2/S3 are an easy choice for Android users. Find out more about how Samsung updated their lineup here.
World’s First Entirely 3D Knitted Shoes
While not quite 3D printing, 3D knitting has the potential to completely revolutionize the manufacturing of clothing. The idea is that an entire, seamless piece of fabric can be created in three dimensions with zero waste. On the mass market side of things, Nike is leading the charge with their FlyKnit upper, created with a 3D loom. But companies are exploring how to use the technology to further reduce waste. This year, a start up called JS Shoes launched a Kickstarter for a completely 3D knitted shoes. The entire shoes are created on a specialized loom and emerge complete. There is no midsole and only a thin outer sole is added later. The result is a more comfortable shoe. As 3D knitting technology matures, we can’t wait to see where it leads! Read our story about JS Shoes here.
MC10 Readies BioStamp Vital Tracking Wearable “Tattoo”
After the complete collapse of FitLinxx’s AmpStrip (2015’s #1 story), there still seems to a lot of excitement around Band-Aid-like devices that track your vitals. This year MC10 released their so-called wearable “tattoo,” the BioStampRC, designed for hospitals and research institutions. The concept behind it is to use a small wireless sensor to replace all of the cables and sensors that one would otherwise be connected to in an effort to help patients feel more normal again. At $800 a piece you probably aren’t going to seeing the device on your next trip to the hospital, but it represents the exciting road ahead for health oriented wearable technology. Read all about the amazing little device here.
WiseWear Smart Bracelet Designed To Keep Women Safe
We love the idea behind WiseWear’s smart bracelets and were so excited to see that our reader were interested in it too. Women are often overlooked when it comes to wearable technology, but Wisewear is actually specifically targeting women with their product. Designed first and foremost to be a stylish piece of jewelry that women would actually want to wear, the bracelet conceals clever wearable tech. Sure it can alert you to notifications and track your daily activity, but the real draw is the device’s integrated distress messaging feature. Simply tap the bracelet 3 times and an SOS alert is sent to a preset list of contacts along with a map with your location. Simple and potentially life saving! Wisewear’s bracelets are a perfect example of how beneficial wearable tech can be. Read all about the connected bracelet here.
A couple more top stories of the year (including a few we initially published in 2015):