What began in a San Antonio garage in 2013, has quickly evolved into one of the hottest fashion trends we’ve seen all season. WiseWear, developed by biomedical engineer Dr. Jerry Wilmink, has created a line of technology-infused jewelry that will put your frumpy Fitbit to shame.
As of now, WiseWear currently offers three models of smart bracelets—Calder, Duchess and Kingston—all very different from let’s say, an Apple Watch. WiseWear bracelets are screenless, which Wilmink hopes to help users to “stay in the moment.” Working alongside renowned fashion icon Iris Apfel, WiseWear crafts their jewelry using metals—gold, rose gold or palladium—and is currently working on a collection with her namesake, expected to be released in 2018.
WiseWear jewelry connects to your cell phone via bluetooth and is able to monitor and track your activity levels (viewable in the app) and alert you of any mobile notifications like texts or emails. The bracelets also have a built-in panic button which if activated, sends a message and location pin to your emergency contact. The safety feature was something Wilmink came up with following the passing of his grandfather, who after sustaining an injury was unable to call for help. This lead Wilmink to include a “predict and prevention” aspect within the jewelry.
Aside from just sending a text alert, Wilmink and his partners have come up with a new feature which allows users to contact the police should they need to. “We’re updating our current line but all of our new products will now have direct access to 911. That’s a very nice feature because if you call 911 from your smartphone, 40 percent of the calls that go to dispatch don’t include your location.” Wilmink explained that dispatchers will receive your exact GPS coordinates, as well as a photo of you, your name and any health conditions.
Before WiseWear, the process of making jewelry fused with technology had never been done before. While most wearables are made from either plastic materials or elastomers, WiseWear uses metal with a specially designed antenna that transmits bluetooth and radio frequency signals.
Wilmink admitted that his team has toyed around with the idea of expanding into menswear, and plans to release a line of children’s products within the first half of next year.