From the arrival of smart watches and fitness trackers, to 3D-printed rings that double as bus passes, consumers have been an integral part in the development process. However, most companies aren’t quite resonating with one key consumer group: women.Silicon Valley is the hub of innovative technology, and in recent years, companies have been competing to construct the latest in wearable tech. Unfortunately, the development teams behind these amazing products are primarily male. These skewed dynamics result in devices with solely male consumption in mind – like smart watches with bands that do not fit around small wrists.
Isabelle Olsson, the head designer behind Google Glass, states that the male dominated tech development environment is why she encourages women to enter the tech industry, “not just as designers, but in all capacities.”
Wearable technology is unique in that by being displayed on the body, it offers a more intimate experience than products – such as computers and phones – that are considered unisex. Wearables should be optimized to physically fit every individual of each gender, race and body type. A major part in making this new technology as adaptable as possible is having input from a broad range of people, specifically women.
As women make up nearly 50% of our consumer base, increasing the amount of women working in technology will be beneficial to both consumers and producers.
I encourage everyone to walk into the door of tech, and this is not to say that you need to be a computer science major or engineer to design the next big thing. Who knows? You may even be the next Isabelle Olsson – jewelry designer to lead designer of Google Glass.
Lulu Spalding is a junior in the McDonough School of Business.
Source: For Wearable Tech, One Size Does Not Fit All