A new force in luxury smart technology partnerships was unveiled recently to a packed house at Baselworld 2015 in Basel, Switzerland when Black Eyes Peas front man will.i.am and legendary fashion house Gucci Timepieces launched their range of “iam+ with Gucci” design-led, luxury wearable technology that won’t require to be tethered to a phone to deliver smart functionality.
Though not yet available in shops, the 3G-enabled smart bands will be able to make and receive phone calls; send and receive texts, and store personal music and map selections as well as an appointments calendar. There are also plans for a voice activated personal assistant, front-facing camera for video calling on the move, GPS, heart rate and temperature sensors, and a personal fitness tracker.
Stéphane Linder, President and CEO of Gucci Timepieces, said during the announcement: “Today, through this innovative collaboration with i.am+ and will.i.am, Gucci Timepieces is fully embracing the future of wearable technology that is now ahead of us, with the objective of launching a wearable device concept that is a fashion accessory, incorporating the most comprehensive and advanced technological functionalities.“
Will.i.am added, "A lot of people are creating wearable devices from a tech background. Gucci has been putting things on your body for years …… So I coined the phrase fashionology - a merging of the worlds of fashion and technology, and that is exactly what this collaboration with Gucci represents.
“i.am+ and Gucci Timepieces are setting the pace with our vision for an untethered wearable. In creating a device that is both fashionable and technologically advanced, we aim to define this category."
Smart watches currently represent the closest rival technology on the market – examples include Android Wear and the recently-launched Apple Watch – however many still need to be connected to a phone to deliver their smart functionality.