Why technology has to be done with style

Fast Forward to Morocco… The Global Spa and Wellness Summit this year was all about technology.

In one of those moments of synchronicity, the summit delegates – including our MD – were debating the merits of marrying wellness and technology at the same time as Apple unveiled its newest piece of must-have kit, the long-awaited Apple Watch.

We’re interested in the creative vision behind Apple; its ranks of executives are now swollen with high-flyers from the fashion industry, from YSL to LVMH. Apple knows more than any retailer that premium price products come with a set of high demands – and one of those is style. After all, no-one wants to pay a lot of money to look a bit naff.

But here’s an interesting thing: top of the list of the Apple Watch’s features is wellbeing, or as they put it ‘a health and fitness companion that never stops thinking of ways for you to be more active and fit’. You can even record your heartbeat and send it to someone, presumably with a message that might say, ‘Look! I’m on the treadmill! Heart rate’s at 130 bpm!”

The GSWS warmed up to wearables with its pinterest page and further ideas came out of the summit itself, including food intake monitors and wearables that can tell you if you have had a bit too much to drink. A lot of them are bracelets and brooches, and it’s worth taking note of the Apple approach: a wellness wearable might be able to monitor your footsteps and heartrate, tell you whether you have had too much sun or too many chips, but at the end of the day if it’s not attractive and comfortable, you’re not going to wear it.

That got us thinking… Can technology add something to uniforms? The only real technological development we are aware of so far is barcoding, which identifies whose uniform is whose, and is an idea that comes into its own for businesses that have to wash a lot of uniforms. It’s rumoured to have variable success, though, due to the challenges of training on the software.

We’re open to ideas. Could a chipped uniform provide a heap of useful information – bacteria levels for example? We’d love to hear what you think.


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