Wearable Tech World Feature Article
September 25, 2013

O2 Recycle, Designer Sean Miles Explore the Potential of Wearable Technology

The new wearable technology now spilling onto the scene seems to be leaning ever closer to spy gear. BlackBerry, for example, recently filed a patent for a device that emits an invisible infrared (IR) beam to a compatible smartphone, while the Snapchat Micro app for Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch is a good excuse for users to say “this message will self destruct,” to their wrist.

However, a new line of wearable clothing with integrated telephony capabilities from O2 Recycle -- Telefonica Europe’s arm that’s dedicated to repurposing old mobile devices -- and designer Sean Miles, takes things to the Inspector Gadget level.

The two have rolled out a collection of clothes that includes “upcycled” gloves, shoes and bags capable of keeping wearers in touch with their friends and loved ones. Indeed, Mile’s vintage Miu Miu gloves feature an old mobile phone speaker embedded in the thumb and a microphone in the little finger, making the user look more like they’re signaling to someone across the room to call them than actually placing a call.

Likewise, a pair of shoes dubbed the “Walkie Talkies” offer all the style of vintage footwear, coupled with phone technology, granting people the option to look outright insane while chatting. A luxury Mulberry messenger bag for men, meanwhile, pulls double duty as a portable stereo system.

This all may seem a little silly, but it’s more to make a point that a new niche in the wearable technology market. In fact, the line has a twofold purpose: explore the possibilities of wearable technology and make people aware that mobile devices have greater longevity than most would assume.

“We wanted to showcase the possibilities of wearable technology — from shoes to gloves to bags — and how fashion and technology can go hand-in-hand,” said Miles in a statement. “Further, the hope is that all the creations for this innovative project will get people to notice what can be done with mobile phones rather than just sending them to a landfill.”

“If we can combine the best of fashion whilst also recycling gadgets we can be trendsetters in more than one way,” he added.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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