5 Wearable Influencers to Watch in 2015

Heading into 2015, we look to the inventors, creators and their products that will shape the wearable tech environment in 2015.

In the next few years, consumers can expect to see great advancements in wearable technology. According to CCS Insight’s new global forecast, shipments of smart wearables are expected to grow from 9.7 million in 2013 to 135 million in 2018.

In other words, the wearables business is booming.

The 2014 winners of Intel’s Make it Wearable challenge created Nixie – the first wearable camera that can fly off the wrist and boomerang back. Health and sleep trackers like the Basis band are getting ever more savvy as innovators push the boundaries of technology.

It’s not just about wrist wearables any more.

From Canada to London to New York City, below is a curated shortlist of people to watch in the wearables space for 2015:


The Clothing Sensor Specialist: Stephane Marceau

Co-founder and CEO, OMsignal

This Aldous Huxley quote is the inspiration behind Stephan Marceau’s OMsignal: There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.

“Wearables are THE tool for self-improvement, or as we like to call it, self-mastery,” Marceau wrote in his manifesto of sorts as a guest post for VentureBeat earlier this year.

OMsignal is a sensor technology embedded in clothing. Marceau says most consumer technology focuses on external stimulation but OMsignal allows its users to turn inward, enabling mindfulness and self-awareness.


OMsignal’s integrated technology showed up in the sensor-embedded Ralph Lauren Polo Tech smart shirt, which premiered at the US Open in 2014.  The shirt is set to launch for consumer distribution in early 2015.


Marceau’s vision expands beyond personal data tracking – he believes OMsignal will enable the crowdsourcing of health and wellness information, which has exciting implications for the wearables industry.



The Vision Pioneer: Dan Eisenhardt

Co-founder and CEO, Recon Instruments

Snowboarders dashing down the mountain with their Oakley Airwave 1.5 Snow smart goggles have Dan Eisenhardt to thank for making this top-notch snow sports gear a reality.

Eisenhardt is the co-founder and CEO of Recon Instruments, the company behind smart-goggle technology, and is recognized for bringing the first consumer Heads-up Display (HUD) technology to market in 2010. Recon also sells the Snow2, the technology component to the Airwave 1.5 Snow, as an independent accessory that can be inserted into compatible goggles.


Toggling between the realms of sports and fashion, the Oakley goggles were on display at the ADORNED exhibit earlier this month in New York City’s meatpacking district, illustrating a glimpse into where wearables have started and where they are headed in the context of the high-fashion world.

His company has been compared to Google Glass. In a video interview with Andrew Keen of TechCrunch earlier this year, Eisenhardt pointed out how Google has a more horizontal approach while Recon has always been steadfast in the sports and outdoors vertical.

“We’ve always said we’re the ‘GoPro of the smart glass industry,’” he said. “We are android-based, so we really like Google. We think they’ve done a lot for the category.”

Eisenhardt’s view on the future of the wearables market, “The technology is there. It’s really about how we tame the technology.”


The Wearables Analyst:  Ben Wood

Chief of Research, CCS Insight

Based in London, Ben Wood is Chief of Research at CCS Insight, which provides global market information, analysis and intelligence for companies focusing on mobile and wireless sectors.

He has been following the wearables market since the beginning. As Wood told Intel, “It reminds me of the early days of any technology — be it cellphones in the mid-1980s or MP3 players before the iPod was released in 2001,” he said. “Everyone is trying to figure out the best designs for devices, which use-cases are most appealing to users and how they should be marketed.”

One product that particularly stood out to Wood recently was at the IFA in Berlin, Europe’s largest electronic fair. This was the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless (2015 CES Innovation Awards honoree). He writes on the CCS Insight blog, “Although heart-rate headphones are not a new phenomenon, we consider Jabra’s implementation to be among the best we have seen.”


Looking towards 2015, Wood said we are still in the “stone age” of wearables and that developers are going to be experimenting with how people wear their tech.

He recently wrote, “We expect more-intelligent headphones to be a new area of intensive competition, potentially opening a new sub segment in wearables that we are calling hearables.”

Wood also notes new opportunities and challenges that will arise as wearables move forward. He sites Google Glass as a key moment in the wearables timeline. “It’s been an incredible product in terms of awareness and a lightning conductor for privacy issues,” he said.

Follow more of Wood’s insights as we head into 2015 by reading his author posts on the CCS Insights blog and following him on Twitter.


The Safety Patrol: Kat Alexander

Founder and CEO, Smart Siren Technology, Inc.

In 2014, the wearables market saw several new wearable jewelry designers enter the space with Ringly, Kovert and Cuff, to name a few. The visionary and creator behind Siren, the aptly named smart ring, is NYC-native Kat Alexander. Siren, set to launch in 2015, is one of the newest smart jewelry products with a twist.

When activated, the Siren ring emits a startling, unbearably loud alarm that can be initiated in less than two seconds. The ring, both a beautiful smart accessory and safety device, empowers women to have direct and immediate access to a deterrent should an assault occur.


Alexander was born and raised in NYC. After a personal experience, she worked with her father, Howard Alexander, a renowned expert with 50 years experience in computer, security, and audio technology to build a prototype of the Siren ring.

The application of this smart ring is a departure from the VIP assistant-style wearables that have come to market in the past year, such as the MICA intelligent bracelet.

The fashion tech sector is still very young, with various players in the game coming at solving technology meeting high fashion from different angles.

Some critics are weary of the message that technology in the safety sector sends, saying that it places the responsibility with women rather than promoting proper behavior from men.

Alexander addressed this point of view when she said, “It’s good [to have protection]. You can get on board with campaigns that educate men and also get on board with being proactive.”



The Futurist: Stephen Lake

Co-founder and CEO, Thalmic Labs

In one of the latest incarnations of science fiction becoming reality, the Myo armband is one of the devices set to revolutionize how we interact with the world around us.

Myo uses the electrical activity in your muscles to wirelessly control your computer, phone, and other favorite digital technologies. Essentially, the wearer’s arm becomes a magic wand.


Stephen Lake is the co-founder and CEO of, Thalmic Labs, the company that created this device.

In an interview with The Blueprint, Lake said, “I think that we’ve seen so much focus on software, mobile and web, in the last ten to fifteen years… There is now starting to be a lot more interest in real technologies, or hard technologies.”

Currently, the Myo armband works across presentations, smart phones, smart homes, radio control and multimedia.

“[Lake’s company is] bringing science fiction to life,” said investor Daniel Debow in a feature in BusinessWeek. He added that the armband “could be as big as Google Glass.”


Related Stories:
Wearables Need to Be Out of Sight in 2015
MICA Intelligent Luxury Fashion Bracelet Stays Alert With Style
The Unfolding Story of Fashion and Technology Hits Retail Store
Functional Fashion Debuts at New York Fashion Week
Will Wearables Succeed Beyond Activity Trackers?
Are Wearables Making Fashion and Tech Industries Strange Bedfellows?
From Basis to Helping Wearable Technology Live Up to the Hype
Challenge of Making Wearable Technology Meet Real Needs In Our Lives
Read more stories about fashion and wearable technologies.


Subscribe to iQ by Intel and stay up on innovation everywhere via Flipboard.

The post 5 Wearable Influencers to Watch in 2015 appeared first on iQ by Intel.