July 31, 2018 / AN EXPERIENCE IS MORE THAN THE PICTURE
July 31, 2018
As technology advances, the ability to integrate it into our lives will become greater. For a brand, this brings with it the opportunity to transform the way people experience their brand through evolved products and services.
According to an article by The Verge, “The future of wearable tech is still brighter than ever. It goes well beyond step counting and awkward face messaging, and will teach us how to play piano…detect neurodegenerative diseases; or make our thoughts visible through brain-reading caps.”
We had the opportunity to talk to Billie Whitehouse, one of the founders of Wearable X—a company that aims to bring a practical purpose to wearables. Billie gave us insights into their unique wearable product line, their perspective on innovation and what it looks like at the company, their product prototype and selection process, as well as a look at their latest product launch, Nadi X.
Wearable X started 5 years ago. The technology was a lot chunkier back then but was really integrated and streamlined for the time. Since then, Wearable X has tested and created a variety of products, improving their process, advancing their technology and innovating and evolving their products over time.
Innovation starts with asking the right questions.
For Wearable X, innovation starts with asking the right questions. It’s not always about solving a problem. “You have to look at the human experience,” Billie explained.
Brands should consider what aspects of humanity are important and strive to understand what makes their product or service part of a community. From there, continue to ask questions about the human process. Billie went onto say, “You have to think horizontally—take information from [all] walks of life and build it into something else not related. That horizontal thinking and design—that’s where true innovation comes from.”
Intimately design for human existence.
“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” -Tim Brown, CEO OF IDEO
Wearable X focuses on human-centered design. Billie unpacked this further in saying, “The parts of human existence that make us truly human, like intimacy, memory and community, we think that’s important to design for.” It starts with getting to know the people you’re designing for, and from there, you question, prototype and break what you’ve built until you get it right. According to a recent Forbes article, “This approach to placing stakeholders (who are the end users of services, programs and initiatives) at the center of the solution design process aims to more authentically address the root causes of society's most pressing issues.”
Wearable X brings together design and technological innovation to create a better quality of life, which is why their product-selection process is so important.
Much of Wearable X’s research and product-design selection are crowdsourced. For them, crowdsourced opinion is important from both a consumer and professional end.
Most of their products begin with a series of patenting projects that their executive team believes in the most. During this process they present those ideas to their audience to see what resonates and consult with key stakeholders and mentors, asking for their advice and opinion.
One of their first prototypes was a product they created for Fox Sports, Jersey X. The goal of the project was to create an interactive jersey so that when a user put it on, they’d feel what the player was feeling in real-time, enhancing a moment in time with the user. Vibration cues this experience as it enhances memory. The experiment consisted of 3,000 kids and rolled out at the Super Bowl in Manchester—and was a screaming success. “Children are an amazing demographic to do experiments with,” said Billie, “because they tell you exactly what they think and give you real, honest feedback.”
Nadi X are yoga pants powered by machine learning.
The “Nadi X” is their latest product to launch—a clothing line with woven-in technology for easier yoga. The activated yoga apparel listens and responds to the user’s body, guiding them through their yoga practice. These pants are designed with embedded technology that uses vibrational feedback, and they are 100% washable (we were curious). They work by communicating with the body to understand what part of the body is being used and then stimulating the user with gentle pulses around the hips, knees and ankles to improve their form. Users describe the product experience as “joyous” and “delightful”, and the product has quickly attracted a following of Xperimenters who document their experiences across the globe.
See how it works:
A new generation of wearable tech is coming, and it will transform the way people interact with the world one product and experience at a time.