For some of us, January is a slow month, but not so in the world of tech, for which the start of a new year means the return of CES, the annual Las Vegas-based consumer electronics show. CES 2017 saw the opening of The Fashionware Show, a dedicated fashion tech showcase comprising of three runway shows, which helped to put fashion firmly on the agenda for 2017 along with the launch of a dedicated Beauty Tech stream. Here’s our roundup of this year’s CES fashion and beauty standouts.
Best of Fashion: GPS-Enabled Clothes and Smart Jewellery
One of CES’ most-discussed fashion innovations came from wearable tech specialist Spinali Design, with its ‘Essential’ vibrating jeans which, with the help of GPS, ‘buzz’ different sides of their wearer’s body as they walk, so they don’t need to look at their phones for directions. The jeans also alert their wearer to any incoming notifications on their phones, plus they’re machine-washable, designed for long-term use (the battery lasts for four years) and priced at a modest £88. The designer Pauline van Dongen also had her sights set on navigation-ready clothing, it turned out, as she sent a solar-powered, GPS-enabled jacket, the Solar Windbreaker, down the Fashionware Show runway.
Xenoma’s ‘e-skin’ jacket, which is due to launch in February, featured in The Fashionware Show and garnered attention for its streamlined style and 14 built-in sensors, which are able to monitor breathing, motion, blood pressure, body temperature and posture, and send this data to your phone via Bluetooth. The Fashionware Show was geared towards smart clothing, with other designers, like Chelsea Klukas, Jazsalyn McNeil, showcasing pieces which, despite being high-tech, looked like ‘regular’ ready-to-wear runway fodder, serving testament to the fact that fashion tech doesn’t have to look gimmicky.
Small wearables were, once again, a huge hit at CES this year; their fashion-focused, attractive designs are a huge selling point. WiseWear – which was applauded at last year’s event for its collaboration with Iris Apfel – attracted attention with its ‘Socialite’ collection of bracelets which track wearers’ health and fitness, as well as keeping them safe by discreetly sending out emergency messages if needed. Elsewhere, smartwatches continued to dominate the wearables market: Fossil, Michael Kors and Diesel were among the biggest names to showcase new smartwatches.
Best of Beauty: Microneedles, Magic Mirrors and Smart Hairbrushes
As they’re currently being used on the shop floor by brands like Charlotte Tilbury and companies like Sephora, smart mirrors are nothing new, but that didn’t stop their latest incarnations wooing the crowds in Vegas this January. Take the HiMirror, for example, which was named an honoree in the CES 2017 Innovation Awards due to its touch-free design and ability to analyse a user’s skin by simply taking a photograph. The HiMirror is able to hone in on surface-level flaws such as sun damage, wrinkles and complexion issues, and then advise on products and routines to help to fix them. There’s also a ‘Plus’ model, which features LED makeup lighting.
Samsung revealed its foray into skincare with its latest device, the S-Skin, a portable “skincare solution that saves time and costs associated with professional dermatological care.” The S-Skin uses microneedles to penetrate the skin to both treat it and measure factors such as hydration and melanin levels. According to Samsung, wrinkles and blemishes can be treated with the device’s microneedle patches, while its LED light settings can be used to help reduce dark spots and uneven complexions.
This year’s CES also saw the launch of a worldwide haircare first, the ‘Hair Coach’ brush from L’Oreal-owned beauty brand Kerastase. Purported as the “world’s first smart hairbrush,” the Hair Coach, created in partnership with lifestyle tech producer Withings, contains a microphone which listens to your hair when it is brushed; through sound it can detect common concerns such as dryness, frizziness and split ends. It will retail for $200 in mid-2017.
Image Source: Mark Furler: FashionWare