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Ecommerce: Accessories go high-tech

Self-adjusting belts and activity-tracking crystals took centre stage at US tech show.

HiSmart Controller lifestyle

Plugged in: built-in audio technology was big news, from Lepow’s HiSmart bag to Stellé Audio’s Earbud Locket

Wearable technology once again took centre stage at the annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas last week with a slew
of new devices unveiled to the public.

Smart watches and 3D printing devices were well represented alongside more quirky designs, such as a wearable drone that wraps around your wrist. Some of the more practical and unique ideas presented included self-adjusting belts, solar-powered smart jewellery and a music-playing satchel.

Addressing the variable size of consumers’ waistlines as they go about their daily life, Belty is a smart belt that slims and expands to suit the comfort of the wearer as they move around, particularly if they are sitting down, and eat.

The belt prototype, designed by Paris-based wearable tech start-up Emiota, comprises a chunky metal buckle and French leather belt and works by tracking tension on sensors fitted throughout the belt that then sync to an app. It can also warn wearers if they have been sitting still for too long. The belt is expected to go on sale later this year, but prices are yet to be revealed.

California-based wearable tech firm Misfit has teamed up with Swarovski to launch Swarovski Shine activity crystals in pendants and wristbands, which track the wearer’s steps, distance, calories burned and both sleep quality and duration. One of the crystals can also power itself using patented energy crystal solar-charging technology. The collection is available for pre-order in the US and is being sold in sets at $169.99 (£112) to $249.99 (£165).

Meanwhile, US-based audio products company Stellé Audio unveiled its Earbud Locket, comprising a jewelled necklace with Bluetooth earbuds that can be stored in the locket when not in use. The locket, which can be used to listen to music or answer phone calls, will be available early this year for $199 (£132).

Calfornia-based mobile accessories firm Lepow is adding tech to bags through its HiSmart pack, which syncs via Bluetooth to a phone or tablet, while buttons in the strap let wearers answer calls and listen to music via headphones. HiSmart vibrates when a notification is received. Made from waterproof canvas, Italian leather and German hardware, the bag comes in black and brown, and will launch on crowdfunding site Indiegogo in March, retailing at $299 (£198).

Julianna He, chief operating officer at Lepow, said: “Our lifestyles have gone digital, but bag design hasn’t changed for decades. The HiSmart bag is the next step in wearables and will turn what we think of as a ‘dumb’ or ‘pure-fashion’ object on its head.”

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