Photo taken on May 30, 2018 shows the "Totwoo Love" Kit in New York, the United States. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
Wearable technology is incorporating into people's life in many ways. What will jewelry look like once it is smartened up?
The Totwoo Love Kit, co-launched by Chinese smart jewelry company Totwoo and U.S. company 360Fashion Network last week in New York City, offers a glimpse of the trend that will change the landscape of jewelry industry.
A LIVING SOUL
With smart jewelry technology, crystals, gemstones and precious metals are integrated into something more important than just an ornament.
Once paired up by Bluetooth, two connected owners are able to share messages such as "I miss you" or "I'm sorry", simply by tapping or shaking their accessories.
The kit will be sold online in the United States by Queen of Raw, the premier online destination for designers to find innovative and sustainable raw materials.
It is the first in a series of "Totwoo Inside" 360Fash Tech Kits, wearable tech DIY kits enabling creatives to focus on design and integration as their first step into fashion tech without the need to code or solder.
"The technology should be made for us, for what's comfortable for us," Anita Net, CEO of 360Fashion Network, told Xinhua. "Wearables put technology in clothing and jewelry. They are the way that we can get our face out of the phone."
Her point was echoed by Amanda McIntyre Chavis, New York Ambassador of Women in Wearable Technology.
"Traditional jewelry reminds you of a moment, whereas with interactive jewelry, you're reminded every day," she said. "Now, no matter where you are on the globe, through WiFi or through other means, you can now know that your family's thinking of you, without even picking up your phone."
In addition to heart-warming messages, the Totwoo Kit can receive alerts and store memories. He or she will constantly be able to feel when a loved one is thinking of him or her from afar, and be able to keep those warm fuzzy feelings in a small device -- one that can be removed from one piece of jewelry and plugged into another.
"It embodies the living soul of your lover, that is going to continue to change and grow over time, so you can be constantly reminded of what this jewelry stands for, who they are, and what love they want to bring to you," said Stephanie Benedetto, a representative from Queen of Raw, a fabric supplier based in New York.
TO EVOLVE OR DIE
Smart jewelry, which as a trend has been bubbling under for the past few years, is poised to change the landscape of future ornament industry.
"Smart jewelry will have a great potential market," said Net.
"The traditional jewelry industry needs to adjust to this trend, and fast," she said. "I think they need to evolve or they're going to die."
Designers and large jewelry brands are starting to see the power of integrating technology into fashion, Benedetto noted.
"We have all sorts of other things that interact, like VR and AI," Chavis said. "I truly believe that technology will be more interwoven into the fabric of our everyday lives, and jewelry is in that very forefront."
Marco Dal Maso, Italian designer and cofounder of Totwoo, agrees.
"It's a natural development of jewelry to be changing and to interact with technology. So this is an amazing opportunity that we have now, to create and develop the possibilities of design, and inspiration, and free your creativity thanks to the technology."
Rookie Asian companies including Totwoo are leading the world's smart jewelry because of the continent's huge market and the readiness to embrace new technologies, experts said.
"When it comes down to innovation, it is truly, without question, that the Asian community is at the forefront of that," said Chavis. "I think that we need to learn from each other, both from the manufacture aspect of it and the emotional aspect of it."
"A lot of the large designers still don't know where to go, what to do, how to integrate it in the United States," Benedetto said. "Being able to take Totwoo solution and bring it to the United States to us is a very powerful offering that we're really excited about."
"This is what Totwoo's doing, changing the rules of the world and making people understand that through connection we can live better together and love each other," said Dal Maso.