Today’s consumers want more value from their products because the greater the value the better their experience. Embedding electronics and software in products enables a new level of connectivity that brings this increased value to the end-user. In a variety of sectors, from cars and airplanes to industrial equipment and appliances, the Internet of Things has increased consumers’ expectations of their products with respect to feature, function, speed and reliability.
The fashion industry is no exception. Wearable technology is revolutionizing the consumer experience, through smart watches, smart jackets, fitness tracking bracelets and more. But are wearables really a recent phenomenon? Some consider the Abacus ring, a relic of China’s Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912) an early form of wearable tech. The abacus, made of silver, was positioned within a ring and used by traders to make rapid calculations. The Abacus ring was not only a fine piece of jewelry, it had a function. Was this the beginning of man’s interest in associating aesthetics and usefulness? In any event, it seems this interest still prevails today, as proven by many of the wearable products currently on the market. Many of these products are the result of alliances between companies that normally would not have thought to join forces had it not been for their increasing appeal with today’s consumers. Two distinct professions, fashion and style on one side and technology on the other, are combining their expertise because consumers don’t want to forfeit one for the other. They want both so companies must work side by side, one inspiring the other, to come up with a product that is a subtle mix of two worlds.
And this is where things can get messy. Without proper coordination and communication between multidisciplinary teams, product development can run into snags, unforeseen problems and delays. Only an integrated view of the product – its style, mechanics, electronics and embedded software – will allow teams to advance in parallel, saving time and costs across the board. Without the proper software, companies would have to design and test each discipline separately, often working in silos, assemble them in a physical prototype and perform tests only to discover errors that would force them to start all over again. This iterative process is simply not sustainable in today’s fast-moving and competitive business environment.
For example, fashion company FOSSIL Group, used an integrated digital platform to develop its Q Watch smart watch, enabling designers and technical experts to share a single source of product information that accelerated decision-making and boosted innovation. This platform is called 3DEXPERIENCE®.
Learn more about wearable in the fashion and lifestyle industry in this report and where Dassault Systèmes solutions can provide value to companies addressing this market.