Who says Generation X can’t rock wearables? Not WiseWear, a company that has created an entire line of luxury wearables designed specifically for seniors. Not only do these wearables track and monitor some important information, they are created to serve as beautiful pieces of jewelry that upon first glance bear no striking resemblance to the wearables you’re probably used to seeing. That’s right, your grandma is most likely rocking a wearable that looks more clutch than yours.
Created by Jerry Wilmink after a harrowing incident when his grandfather fell and broke his hip in the middle of the night, and ultimately died due to his injuries because he was unable to call for help, WiseWear was conceived as a company to develop wearable devices that would signal and indicate when the wearer might be in danger and send out a distress signal to alert others. Wilmink developed an antenna system capable of transmitting Bluetooth signals through metal, and a light bulb went off. This technology could be incorporated into pieces of jewelry that people would actually want to wear.
If the wearables at WiseWear sound similar to the lampooned Life Alert device, it’s an apt comparison. However, rather than wearing a device with a button around one’s neck that clearly symbolizes the wearer’s frailty and risk of injury, WiseWear’s line of wearables incorporate that same warning and distress signal idea into some serious bling. A line of deluxe gold bracelets known as the Socialite collection receive mobile alerts, tracks fitness, and most importantly, is equipped to send a distress signal to alert emergency contacts that something has gone awry. The collection comes in three varieties, with each costing $300.
These badass bangles look so good that they received a seal of approval from fashion icon Iris Apfel, a textile titan who wore her own designs to lavish galas that led to her taking part in restoration projects for nine U.S. presidents and being bestowed the title of one of the Best Dressed women over 50. Apfel was so smitten with WiseWear’s collection that she agreed to become the face of the company and design a new line of wearables, bringing even more lavish couture to the fashion-forward company.
“Aside from measuring other things, it does put you in immediate touch if you are at risk,” Apfel said. “That I think is fantastic, not only for older people but also a lot of young people. And the idea that you’ll be able to do it in a handsome piece of jewelry is great.” Wilmink’s patented antenna tech enables WiseWear’s jewelry to perform the same functions of many wearables without the need for a bulky, displeasing screen. The base of the bracelets contains the tech aspects while the top is purely for aesthetic appeal, with designs and components that can be swapped out on a whim.
Apfel hopes to create a line of belts and necklaces to join WiseWear’s popular bangle collection, giving women (and men) more options when it comes to selecting a fashionable wearable that could potentially be life-saving. Try not to get too jealous of your grandparents walking around feeling both stylish and safe with WiseWear’s wearables.