The emergence of wearables — connected devices you wear on your body — is sweeping big tech companies like Google and Apple, as well as startups like Misfit Wearables. But if the devices are just plain dorky-looking they’re going to struggle to break into the mainstream.

warby parker, online eyewear
photo: GigaOM

The geeks at Google designing their augmented reality glasses project — Google Glass — are turning to the fashionable folks at online glasses startup Warby Parker, according to the New York Times. The idea is that while Google can pioneer the engineering of connected glasses that can take pictures, record videos and go online hands-free, they’re not exactly the leading thinkers when it comes to fashionable eyewear.

1067723964_b910138ed5_oFashion is something that will become increasingly important for wearables as they become more mainstream. Connected wristbands — like Nike’s FuelBand and Jawbone UP — will only be adopted by a certain section of the population, and startups like Misfit Wearables are emerging to try to make style and design of their wearable device (the Shine) their differentiating factor.

It’s even more important when the wearable is on your face. The Bluetooth headset, regardless of a product’s sleek design, sends an instant dork signal to anybody passing by.

I love this quote from BaubleBar co-founder Daniella Yacobovsky in the New York Times article on the next thing that wearables like Google Glass need:

“Is it useful? Of course it is. Do I look like a tool? Yeah. I’m not going to wear it.”

At our RoadMap event November 2012, which was focused on connected design, Warby Parker co-CEO and co-founder Dave Gilboa talked about design, fashion and giving consumers what they want. We’ll be hosting the third annual RoadMap later this year in November, and will continue to discuss these subjects. In the meantime, check out Gibloa’s thoughts in this video:

  1. Like the title of this one. It feels like a working title that never got changed (which is a good thing).

  2. Bluetooth headsets are dorky-looking. If you have already crossed that barrier, then dorky glasses aren’t as big of a leap..

  3. A rejected title: “The part of wearables that geeks usually forget about (but at least this time Google’s trying): not looking like a tool”

  4. bleBar co-founder Daniella Yacobovsky in the New York Times article on the next thin


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