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Tech form now matters as much as tech function

The dance between technology and fashion has always been a rather ungainly one, characterized by awkward stumbling, accidental toe-treading and unexpected knees in the groin.

Neither world is really certain what it’s supposed to be doing with the other. Products deemed to combine style with cutting-edge credibility tend to leave the public cold, whether that’s a celebrity-endorsed gadget or solutions to problems that don’t exist (Bluetooth glove-phones, rechargeable handbag chargers). But as technology shrinks, form and style start to become much more important.

The arrival of wearable technology into the marketplace has been muted by this truth. There’s little point in making wearables that people don’t find alluring enough to wear, and while technology companies tie themselves up in knots over the functionality of, say, a smartwatch, the fact is that we require very little from a watch. For most people, aesthetic appeal is more important. That’s why a team of 100 designers is rumored to be working on Apple’s much-anticipated “iWatch”: while the mass adoption of wearable technology is primarily a social battle, it’s one that can be won a whole lot quicker if the product looks cool and feels desirable.

Small wonder, then, that technology companies are beginning to court figures from the fashion world like desperate singletons at a speed-dating event. The departure of Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts for a job at Apple comes only a few weeks after Yves St Laurent’s Paul Deneve made the same move. Google, still engaged in a long-term pre-launch battle for public acceptance for Google Glass, scored a win when Diane von Furstenberg’s models wore the futuristic spectacles at last autumn’s New York Fashion Week. Samsung sent Galaxy Gears watches up the catwalk in Milan with Moschino; Kenzo designed covers for Google’s Nexus 7 tablet at Paris Fashion Week, while those on the front row at Roksanda Ilincic’s recent show in London were slipped a free pair of stylish Sennheiser Momentum headphones. With the attitudes of taste-makers so important in the often sniffy world of fashion, you can hardly blame those technology companies who suddenly find themselves plunged into the luxury accessories market for attempting such overt seduction.

But what do the fashion companies get out of this liaison? Does any kudos flow the other way? “The fashion and beauty worlds were very slow to the digital party,” says Tyler. “Until a couple of years ago there were barely any decent e-commerce websites, and luxury brands were in denial about what technology could do for them – mainly because they were steeped in heritage. But that’s changing.

That developing link with technology was highlighted at Dressed To Code, a “fashion hackathon” hosted by Glamour magazine last month at New York Fashion Week, where coders (split 50/50 between men and women) convened to merge the worlds of technology and fashion through the development of mobile apps. It’s hardly a marriage made in heaven, but perhaps the geek and the chic are finally getting it together.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Smartwatch Opens doors For Apple

The Galaxy Gear, $299 smartwatch goes on sale this week. The watch connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and lets you take pictures, record short videos, send and receive text messages, make phone calls, control music playback and more.

For an electronic gadget, it’s a pretty nice looking watch, with its metal edges, rectangular glass display and decent heft, doesn’t feel cheap.

The watch’s glass face is like a small smartphone display — swipes to the right or left on the glass scroll through different pages, allowing access to different apps and features. If you want to open one, like the pedometer, gallery of images and videos or media controller, simply tap the display once you’ve scrolled to that app.

A swipe on the glass from top to bottom serves as a “back” button in most apps, although if the default clock face with the time and weather is displayed, that swipe activates the 1.9-megapixel camera on the wristband. A swipe up when the time and weather are displayed gives you a dial pad to make calls. It may sound like a lot to remember, but it’s actually intuitive and you get used to it quickly. And looking down in the morning and seeing the temperature on your wrist — and then giving a tap for a detailed report — is pretty cool.

There are several negatives to this watch. The watch only works with the Galaxy Note 3, the new “phablet” slated to be released in the coming weeks, costing $300 to $350 (with a two-year contract). CNET reports that other Samsung Galaxy devices will be compatible with Gear by the end of the year.

The Galaxy Gear is also; scrolling through the menu items, taking pictures and S-Voice seems to lag.

If I got a text message, the phone would buzz in my pocket several seconds before I got a notification on the watch.

You can get texts, but not picture messages. You can take pictures with Galaxy Gear — and they’re decent pictures — but you have to transfer them to your phone before you can send them to anyone.

When text message arrives, you can choose to respond by either calling or using S-Voice.

The watch, of course, can also be used as a phone, thanks to a speaker and microphone on the wrist band. But remember — it’s connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, so your smartphone is actually the device using the network. You can choose to have the volume low and talk into your wrist Dick Tracy-style, or raise the volume and use it more like a speaker phone. Samsung representatives explained that it’s the type of feature that would be used if you needed to answer a call while driving, although I think that the type of person who would spend $300 on a first generation smartwatch may also have a car that’s equipped with a Bluetooth hands-free system, which is far superior.

The concept of the watch is great, and smartwatches will one day become as ubiquitous as smartphones are today, but not this watch.

In the end, the $300 price tag is not worth it on a first-generation smartwatch that doesn’t work very well

Let’s see what Apple comes back with.

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THE Fashion Week Phone: HTC One Red

As if the super-sleek smartphone superstar HTC One couldn’t get any better, they’ve gone and updated it in a gorgeous metallic red !

The HTC One in red combines the latest in mobile innovation and design to offer the powerful experience to date. The BlinkFeed aggregates feeds from your selected news sources, social sites and apps to create a customizable, real-time stream of relevant information on your screen.

HTC has introduced the revolutionary UtraPixel camera, for superior images in low light. The feature allows you to capture the moment, not just a split-second snapshot, by creating a 3 second moving image that you can choose exact stills from. So whether you’re trying to take the perfect street style moment and want lots of shots to choose from, or making a cool GIF, you’re sorted! You can also upload straight into Instagram Video to share your moving moment with your followers.

The HTC One could practically play the soundtrack on the catwalk thanks to the epic BoomSound technology, which brings your music to life with front-facing speakers and Beats Audio™ optimization!


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Is the Apple’s iPhone 5s Style for you.

By discontinuing last year’s iPhone 5 and replacing it with the iPhone 5c, the new iPhone 5s is the handset in Apple’s lineup with its anodized aluminum back and chamfered edges. The style that debuted last year has been refined, with new colors in “space gray” and gold now joining the white and silver option.

Those looking for the ultra-premium feel offered by the iPhone 5s still only have one choice of handset model from Apple’s current lineup. That’s a shift from years past, when Apple continued to offer the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 in its lineup side by side, even though both devices looked nearly identical.

Some have speculated that Apple’s mid-level plastic iPhone 5c may serve to up-sell customers to the company’s more premium iPhone 5s. Regardless of whether that’s Apple’s intent, it’s likely that the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s will appeal to very different audiences: The iPhone 5c is for those who like the color choices and lower price while the iPhone 5s is meant for tech enthusiasts who want the latest technology such as the new Touch ID and finger print scanner