With the announcement of the Apple Watch, wearable technology is again making headlines. But thus far many devices have failed to integrate into consumers’ everyday lives. A January 2014 study by Endeavour Partners found that one-third of US consumers who purchased an activity tracker stopped using it within six months.
The story is different for Chicago-based fashion technology start-up Everpurse. By keeping her focus on aesthetics and everyday consumer problems, founder Liz Salcedo has managed to create wearable technology that sticks.
Everpurse produces two items, the Clutch and the Mini, both of which are women’s accessories that charge smartphones. The Clutch conceals the charging apparatus inside a conventional-looking bag, while the Mini displays it proudly on the outside, allowing women to continue using their phones while they charge. The bags can be placed on a mat at home to charge the batteries without the need for an extra plug-in.
Simple truths lie behind Everpurse’s success. ‘If things aren’t beautiful, people just stop using them,’ says Salcedo. ‘And if they don’t really touch on universal pain points, such as charging and things like that, then their use is very short-lived.’
1. Wearable and fashion technology are parting ways. The first is concerned with functions, the second with what people want on their bodies. For more on fashion technology, read our Fashion Tech market report.
3. Make products indispensable. ‘If [our customers] forget to bring their Everpurse out for the day, it’s like they’ve forgotten how to charge. They don’t remember to bring cables or batteries,’ says Salcedo.
4. Fit products into existing behaviour. Consumers charge Everpurse products simply by placing them on a mat at home, where they would be deposited anyway. ‘It’s a really easy habit to integrate into your life,’ says Salcedo.
5. Some consumers want technology to be more visible than others. Salcedo says that Everpurse’s two products do not compete with each other.