TeamWiseWear

An Inside Look: WISEWEAR x IRIS Launch Party

AN INSIDE LOOK: WISEWEAR x IRIS LAUNCH PARTY

We officially announced and celebrated our latest collaboration with Iris Apfel on March 18 at the charming Carlyle Hotel, located in the heart of Manhattan. To commemorate this exciting milestone, we invited a handful of New York’s finest tastemakers and trendsetters to join us for a celebratory brunch and meet-and-greet. Attendees included Christina Caradona, Lainy Hedaya, Troy Alexander, Meaghan Hartland, Noelle Sciatica, Melissa Kravitz, Gregory DelliCarpini Jr., Rachel Iwanyszyn, Erica Blumenthal, and more!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the 94-year-old style icon, Apfel has an accomplished background in fashion and interior design, and has spent decades curating her eccentric wardrobe of clothing and accessories from all around the globe. A veteran in the fashion industry, Apfel has developed a taste that is refined, worldly, and unique in every sense. Needless to say, we’re thrilled to see what she’ll bring to the table as we join forces to design our next line of smart jewelry. We hope you enjoy the inside look at our #WISEWEARxIRIS launch party! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and updates!

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Lainy Hedaya

Erica Bloomenthal, Fran Kremtcil, Lainy Hedaya

Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Gregory DelliCarpini Jr

Rachel Iwanyszyn

Bela Rossmann, Troy Alexander

Gerald Wilmink, Iris Apfel

Gregory DelliCarpini Jr

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

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Christina Caradona

Lainy Hedaya

Gerald Wilmink, Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

Gregory DelliCarpini Jr

Gerald Wilmink, Erica Bloomentha

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Breakfast with WiseWear and Iris Apfel

Gerald Wilmink, Iris Apfel

A New Era of Wearables with Iris Apfel

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She’s bold. She’s fierce. She’s the 94-year-old style icon who’s designing your next wearable. Meet Iris Apfel, the new face of WiseWear.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this feisty fashionista, you’ve probably come across her unforgettable face at some point – it’s often adorned with those iconic, thick-rimmed spectacles. Or you’ve probably heard someone mention her as “that lady with the glasses.” Perhaps you’ve seen her charming documentary IRIS (if you haven’t, it’s now being featured on Netflix).

For the past 60-something years, Iris has graced the world with her artistic talent and impeccable taste. Her career set off in 1950 when she and her husband launched Old World Weavers, a restorational textile company. Together they traveled the world, shopping for fabrics while simultaneously building Iris’ eccentric collection of one-of-a-kind accessories and fashion pieces. She also served as an interior designer for the White House for nearly half a century, working with the wives of nine presidents.

 

Iris, searching for fabrics for her clients, while discovering unique non-Western pieces.
Iris, fabric shopping for clients, while discovering unique non-Western pieces.

 

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Iris with her husband, Carl, in the 1950s during their travels. 

 

Iris with her husband, Carl, at a gala dinner in Miami, 2008.
Iris and Carl, at a gala dinner in Miami, 2008.

 

Well affiliated with the New York interior design crowd, Iris eventually grabbed the attention of a curator from the Met Museum, who caught wind of her ostentatious wardrobe. He asked if she would create an art exhibition showcasing her personal collection of fashion and accessories accumulated throughout the years. It was this exhibition, dubbed Rara Avis: Selections from the Iris Apfel Collection, that set Iris apart as something very rare and far from ordinary. Today, she continues to inspire people of all ages to adopt their own unique style as the truest form of self-expression.

 

Iris installing an ensemble at Peabody Essex Museum, similar to the pieces displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Iris installing an ensemble at Peabody Essex Museum, similar to the pieces displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

 

This is one of many reasons why we wanted to work with Iris. Her years of wisdom and wit make her the perfect example of a modern day woman – confident, beautiful, smart and independent. To put it in other words, she’s a true symbol for beauty and brains. If you’ve seen her documentary, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.

In the documentary, you might also recall Iris touching on the frequent, sometimes fatal, issue of her friends falling. The self-proclaimed “geriatric starlet” has undergone two hip operations herself – one after tripping over the hem of an Oscar de la Renta dress at a Paris fashion shoot. This recurring topic of seniors at risk of falling was one that sparked an interest with Iris, as soon as she learned that our founder’s grandfather had experienced such a fatal fall (read about it in this Fast Company article).

 

Behind the scenes with Iris and WiseWear founder, Dr. Gerald Wilmink.
Behind the scenes with Iris and WiseWear founder, Dr. Gerald Wilmink.

 

His passing was what inspired Dr. Wilmink to start WiseWear. As stated in the article, Wilmink’s original plan was to create a hearing aid that could measure when the user was at risk of falling, and would react by telling the user to sit down. Although the hearing aid never came to fruition, one thing led to another – ultimately resulting in an antenna system that could transmit Bluetooth signals through metal. This is now the breakthrough technology that fuels our Socialite smart bracelets.

Although Socialite can’t detect falls (just yet), it can track your activity, provide vibrating mobile notifications, and send distress signals to your loved ones in times of potential danger. The unique safety feature is one that Iris values most, stating that, “something like this can alert those who care about me if I take a flop because falling can be very dangerous, particularly when you get old in age.”

 

Lavish and lovely: a shot from her latest documentary, IRIS, shot and directed by Albert Maysles.

 

By tapping the bracelet to your custom sequence (i.e. three taps), Socialite sends a discreet text message to your pre-approved list of contacts, notifying them of your exact location. Beyond falls, you can also tap the bracelet when feeling vulnerable, threatened, or endangered. Click here to read more about how the safety feature works.

During our one-on-one interview, Iris made a point that, “this is not just technology that’s useful for elderly people; there are a lot of young people that can benefit as well. The Socialite bracelet can measure your activity, how active you are, and all kinds of good stuff. We don’t want any couch potatoes in the crowd.”

At 94 years young, the slender muse is still always on-the-go, flying from international fashion shows to photo shoots and elite social events. She admits that she is very active and doesn’t sit still very much.

 

The Calder, from L to R: in Palladium, Rose Gold, and Gold.
The Calder, from L to R: in Palladium, Rose Gold, and Gold.

 

On another note, Iris also believes that the “de-teching” aspect of Socialite will serve useful, with vibrating mobile notifications and lack of a distracting LED screen. She once said, “People are so tied up in the worst parts of technology these days. They don’t use their imagination.

If we’ve learned one thing, it’s that imagination is vital to spark creativity and innovation. Iris has preserved a unique childlike quality to imagine a world of endless possibilities – and it’s unlike anything we’ve encountered before with any other fashion designer.

With Iris by our side, we’re feeling more inspired than ever to design a fresh line of luxury wearables and introduce it to the high-fashion world. Indeed, technology is a beautiful thing and wearing it should be too. Cheers to a new era of fashion-first wearables that truly speak style.

 

A Recap of CES 2016

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If you couldn’t already tell from our social media feeds, we thoroughly enjoyed our first time at CES, the world’s largest consumer technology show! We want to thank everyone who came to visit our booth, shook our hands, and took the time to understand our brand and vision. The Socialite Collection is more than just a line of luxury smart bracelets – it’s a symbol of fashion and technology merging together as one. With wearable technology rising to new heights, it’s absolutely crucial to place style, comfort, and design as top priorities for a successful product. After all, what’s the point of a wearable if you loathe wearing it? Fashionology, fashion tech, techsessory – call it what you want – but it’s something that we strive to excel at and hope it will improve the wellness and safety of our community at large.

In addition to debuting our collaboration with fashion icon, Iris Apfel, we also unveiled our latest product line for men – the Titan Collection of luxury smart belts. More details to come soon!

For those of you who missed CES, here’s a quick recap of all the things we saw, conquered, and were featured in:

  1. Engadget: WiseWear hides a safety alarm inside a woman’s bracelet
  2. LA Times: CES 2016: Robots, fancy wearables, toddler toys and – hair growers?
  3. USA Today: 10 fun gadgets ‘Unveiled’ at CES 2016
  4. BBC: CES Unveiled 2016: Smart jewelry and hair growth helmets
  5. InStyle: Iris Apfel Embraces Wearable Tech with a New Jewelry Collection: “I Think It’s a Brilliant Idea!”
  6. Mashable: A 94-year-old fashion icon designed your next health tracker
  7. Fast Company: Fashion Icon Iris Apfel is Designing Wearables for WiseWear
  8. WWD: CES 2016: The Best of Wearable Technology
  9. JCK Magazine: New & Next: 10 Hot Retail Topics for 2016
  10. The Today Show: A flying car?! See the coolest CES tech and gadgets
  11. Tech Times: Fashion Icon Iris Apfel, 94, Designs Fashionable Wearable Tech for WiseWear

 

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A sneak peek of our upcoming product line for men – the Titan Collection of luxury smart belts.

 

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The Calder (in Rose Gold, Gold, and Palladium) as a part of our booth’s display case.

 

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Did we mention we also won an award from Parent Tested, Parent Approved for ‘Top Pick of CES 2016’?

 

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WiseWear COO and CFO – Jason Wilson and Brian Anderson – holding our beautiful award from PTPA!

 

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A snapshot of our beautiful booth and display cases, designed and built by DSN X MFG.

 

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WiseWear founder & CEO, Dr. Gerald Wilmink, explaining how Socialite’s distress messaging feature works.

 

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Our beautiful box and charging case. Photo taken by Engadget.

 

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The Gold Calder. Photo taken by Engadget.

 

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The Kingston and Duchess in Palladium. Photo taken by Digital Bounds.

 

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The Calder in Gold. Photo taken by Engadget.

 

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The Calder in Palladium. Photo taken by Digital Bounds.

 

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The Calder in Gold. Photo taken by LA Times.

 

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The Socialite Collection featured on the TODAY Show with tech expert, Katie Linendoll, as one of the coolest tech gadgets at #CES2016!

 

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The Calder, sitting on the wrist of tech expert, Katie Linendoll – on the TODAY Show.

 

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The Kingston in Palladium, sitting in the box / charging case – on the TODAY Show.

 

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The Socialite Collection. Photo taken by The Verge.

 

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A look on the inside of our wearable sensors. Featured on KENS5.

 

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The Calder in Gold, sitting on the wrist of BBC tech reporter, Zoe Kleinman.

 

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USA Today tech journalist, Jennifer Jolly, showing off the Calder alongside WiseWear founder, Dr. Gerald Wilmink.

 

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The Calder in Palladium, sitting on the wrist of USA Today tech journalist, Jennifer Jolly.

 

 

CES 2016: All Things Innovative

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What a way to start the new year at #CES2016 in Las Vegas! We are thrilled to be at the forefront of breakthrough consumer technology, along with other likeminded innovators and trailblazers. After many sleepless nights, a few “aha” moments, and hours of head scratching, we are proud to showcase all of our hard work. To get a first glimpse of our Socialite Collection (and a few other surprises up our sleeve), visit our CES booth #73208 and booth #BT55 (Fashionware) in Tech West, Sands Hall, Level 2, Halls A-C and Venetian!

We also invite you to join WiseWear founder & CEO, Dr. Gerald Wilmink, as he discusses “Wearables with Wisdom” on Thursday, Jan. 7, starting at 4pm, at the Venetian (Level 4, Lando 4304). He will be speaking on the panel, moderated by Jane Francisco, Editor-in-Chief of Good Housekeeping, and joined by Dr. David Katz.

Here’s a sneak peek of what we have in store for the world’s largest consumer technology show.

Don’t forget to follow us on our social media accounts for more news and updates! Simply click and follow.

The bare framework of our CES booth, designed and built by Austin-based agency, DSN X MFG. Check out their amazing work at www.dsnmfg.com! Photo taken by DSN X MFG.

 

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“That’s a real marble veneer floor… in a trade show booth.” -DSN X MFG. Photo taken by DSN X MFG.

 

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Come see us at Booth #73208 and Booth #BT55 (Fashionware) in Tech West, Sands Hall, Level 2, Halls A-C and Venetian! Photo taken by DSN X MFG.

 

 

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A sneak peek of our Socialite box. Photo taken by Engadget.

 

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The Calder in Gold. Photo taken by Engadget.

 

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Another shot of the Calder in Gold. Photo taken by Engadget.

 

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WiseWear CMO, Jordan Ramirez (left), and founder/CEO, Dr. Gerald Wilmink (right).

 

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Enjoying our time at CES Unveiled Las Vegas #CES2016.

 

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The WiseWear team, from L to R: Dr. Gerald Wilmink, Brian Anderson, Jordan Ramirez, Jason Wilson.

Breaking Through at TEDMED 2015

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Last week, we had the honor and pleasure of attending TEDMED 2015 in Palm Springs, CA, along with 1,000 other delegates from 147 different countries. Needless to say, it was an eye-opening experience to collaborate with innovators from every field imagined. From self-made billionaires to mad scientists and the U.S. Surgeon General (a.k.a. “America’s Doctor”), we feel fortunate to have exchanged ideals with some of the brightest people in the health and medicine community. At the end of the day, we felt inspired to continue innovating, creating, and collaborating with those who share the same passion as us. If you missed TEDMED this year, have no fear – here’s a quick recap of our time spent at this special event!


 

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Socialite Design Elements & Inspiration

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Earlier this month, we finally got a chance to sit down with Lee Chan, our Chief Fashion & Design Advisor, and interviewed her on the design elements and inspiration behind the Socialite Collection. We compiled the best of her thoughts in Q&A form. Enjoy! 

Q: Where and how did you start the design process for the Socialite Collection? 

A: We first started out with the basics by fully understanding who the user is, what she truly wants, and what she would gravitate towards in terms of aesthetics, form, and value. Wearing jewelry is a form of self-expression. It can be considered a rather sensual experience because of how close it touches the skin. Bearing this concept in mind, we approached the design process with a strong emphasis on how it would feel to wear the bracelet. Would it be comfortable and versatile enough to wear all day long? Could we create a universal fit that would accommodate the curvature of all wrists? Such an intimate and tactile approach involved a number of steps, including hand sketching, wax casting, 3D printing, and steel mold injection. It was certainly a grueling process of trial and error… we cycled through several iterations before settling on the perfect designs that embodied the right elements of comfort and sophistication. 

Q: What inspired the designs of the bracelets?

A: The inspiration for the Socialite Collection spanned from both history and geometric forms. Our infatuation with Italian links and interlocking geometries served as the ultimate foundation for the Calder. We incorporated fun and tasteful elements of symmetry so that the bracelet looks stunning from virtually every angle. The connected links represent unity between beauty and technology, bringing the best of both worlds together into one harmonious piece. The design was inspired to represent community, passion, and balance. The Calder has the most unique geometric form out of the collection. The Duchess was created out of a modern translation of traditional insignia jewelry. There is a long history associated with the insignia ring, often used as a personal signature for rulers & leaders and/or a symbol of family heritage. We were interested in playing around with this concept and eventually translated the ring design into a bracelet. The rectangular flat top served as the perfect face to expose a pop of color. The Duchess serves as a token of remembrance, symbolizing traditional values of love, strength, and promise. This style is perfect for those who seek a blend of modern and traditional detail. And finally, for the Kingston, we reimagined the WiseWear logo, with the intent to symbolize the company’s philosophy of creating beautiful things with true purpose. The design is rather modern and sleek, with the subtlest of details. If you look at the bracelet from a side angle, you will see a deep “W” indentation that replicates the WiseWear logo. It’s also a faint representation of a heartbeat, which symbolizes the generosity of life and wellness. The metal pearls add some texture to its smooth metallic surface, adding a touch of contemporary elegance.


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Original design sketch of the Calder


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Original design sketch of the Duchess

 


Original design sketch of the Kingston

Original design sketch of the Kingston

 

Q: Were there any specific design features and requirements that you had to conceptualize around? Any specific objectives you were trying to achieve?

A: We knew that the beauty of the technology could only be concealed and packaged into a beautiful accessory. Therefore, our goal was to create something that was truly beautiful, versatile, comfortable, and luxurious – something that could instantly make a woman feel confident from the moment she put it on. We wanted to design pieces that would be fitting for all kinds of lifestyles and spent a lot of time considering how and when the bracelet would be worn throughout the day. I believe the Socialite Collection has a strong degree of versatility, in the sense that you can wear it to the office, to your son’s soccer game, to a girls’ night out, or to a fancy date night.

Q: Describe how the woman comes into play. 

A: I truly believe that when a woman finds a piece of jewelry, it’s an emotional connection with the beauty of the design and how the jewelry makes her feel. We tuned into those feelings throughout the design process and wanted to stay true to the customer’s desire of identifying with something that’s truly wearable. We wanted her to see the collection and immediately imagine herself wearing it in a variety of settings.

Q: How do you feel about the integration of fashion and technology? Where do you see it going? 

A: The integration of fashion and technology, aka “fashionology”, is incredibly important because the world needs more products that wear and function well. Offering wearable products that function well, but lack in the comfort and style department quickly defeats the purpose. Once something is worn on the body, it becomes an object of fashion. The language of fashion is one of identity and value; and it’s something that technology is now learning to speak. Although technology may already be fully integrated in the consumer’s everyday life, I am confident that it will become more seamless, especially with a growing focus in fashion and design. The marketplace for fashion-first wearables is bound to skyrocket in the next few years. I look forward to seeing how engineers and designers will collaborate and innovate. 

Q: What’s your favorite part about the Socialite Collection?

A: That’s a difficult question to answer… there are many aspects to appreciate. I love that these bracelets combine the best of technology and style. It’s unlike anything else I’ve seen in the market. It’s a true representation of both beauty and brains, which is typically deemed unattainable. Socialite defies those odds and empowers women to have it all. I also love the versatility of the collection, and the fact that all bracelets are interchangeable with one another. Playing on the metaphorical expression, the formation of the bracelet is actually made up of two components – the BEAUTY and the BRAIN. Users have the ability to mix and match different styles with the simple detachment of the top and bottom halves. The bottom half is called the BRAIN, which houses the advanced sensing technology. The top half is called the BEAUTY and is purely jewelry with no technical components. Women have the choice to buy multiple BEAUTYs and can assemble them to the BRAIN in no time with a small screwdriver.

 

The S’s of Socialite – Signal for Distress

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Let’s face it – as women, we’ve all experienced the unpleasant fear and anxiety of walking home alone after dusk. The casual catcalls and street harassment don’t make you feel any more comfortable. Then, there’s the thought of being approached by an attacker or being followed home. Improbable things happen. There’s always the slim chance of getting caught in a situation where your trusty can of pepper spray and/or self-defense skills just won’t do. 

Personal safety and security is a crucial concern for everyone, but especially for women. Because of this, the WiseWear team felt that it was imperative to include a feature that would allow women to feel safe and confident at all hours of the day. Whether you’re going for a morning run before sunrise or walking through an empty parking garage at midnight, Socialite gives you the power to do it with confidence. 

Our advanced security feature allows you to send a distress signal to your loved ones in times of potential danger. By tapping on your Socialite, you can send a discreet text message to your pre-approved list of contacts, along with your geolocation and sound/video recording of your surroundings. You can train your bracelet to recognize a unique tap sequence (think of it as a password) and manage your list of approved contacts on the accompanying Socialite mobile app. 

At face value, this feature appears simple, but its uses are boundless. Besides the threat of a violent assault, there are a number of potential urgent situations where you can utilize Socialite’s unique security feature. 

Accidents. Accidents happen all the time. Some can leave you immobile, while others can be near fatal. Either way, you need help – and you need it fast. For instance, if you’ve slipped down the stairs and find yourself alone at a standstill, tap your Socialite to let your loved ones know you’re at risk. Another example would be a car accident. In the midst of chaos and confusion, you can’t find your cell phone to call 911. Tap your Socialite to let your loved ones know you need immediate help. 

Violence. In light of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognized that Socialite could serve as the perfect means to send a distress signal, in the most covert way possible. Instead of visibly reaching for your phone, tap your Socialite to send a tip-off for help to your loved ones. 

Social Situations. Meeting a blind date from OkCupid or a stranger from Craigslist can be a hair-raising experience, especially when alone. The security of being able to quickly tap your Socialite to alert your ICE contacts (along with your geolocation) is priceless. Knowing that help is only a simple tap away creates a peace of mind that truly makes all the difference. 

While these are only a few examples that demonstrate the usability and convenience of Socialite’s security feature, we are hopeful that the possibilities are endless. Can you think of any other sticky situations where Socialite would come in handy? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

The 5 W’s Behind WiseWear

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Welcome! First and foremost, we are beyond thrilled to launch our blog so you can get know WiseWear on a more personal level. After all, we’d like to think of ourselves as more than just a tech company… but rather, a resource in the community that touches on health, fashion, technology, and more. Our blog will feature a variety of content, ranging from advice on how to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle to exclusive, behind-the-scenes coverage.

We’d like to dedicate our first blog post to the basics – get to know us!

WHO: WiseWear is a fashion tech hybrid company that creates luxury wearables. While we specialize in advanced sensing technologies, we also have a strong focus on fashion, design, and aesthetics – simply put, making things truly wearable. Our experienced team consists of top engineers and scientists, hailing from Caltech, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, and the University of Texas, whose backgrounds include biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, and applied physics. We also collaborate closely with fashion designers, who have consulted for reputable brands such as Coach, Swatch, Rachel Zoe, and Alexis Bittar.

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A few of our team members, including (L to R): David Elam, Bennett Ibey, Brian Anderson, Jerry Wilmink, Ron Barnes, Jason Wilson, Jordan Ramirez, Ed Leahey.

WHAT: We recently launched our first line of luxury smart jewelry called the Socialite Collection (get it here, for an exclusive pre-order price of $299.95). This line consists of three smart bracelet designs, including the Calder, the Duchess, and the Kingston. The bracelets are fully integrated with advanced features such as activity tracking, mobile notifications, and distress messaging. Each bracelet is made of brass and plated in precious metals such as gold and palladium. Such brass material allows the bracelets to be water-resistant, antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, and considerably more durable than other wearables currently offered in the market. We have plans to continue collaborating with top fashion brands & designers to offer more styles, as well as upcoming product lines that will appeal to both men and women.

The three styles of our Socialite Collection, including (L to R): the Calder, the Kingston, the Duchess.

WHERE: Our headquarters are located in the heart of the San Antonio medical district. We also have an office in Austin.

A typical day at our in-house research & development lab, testing sensing and antenna technology.

WHEN: It all began in September 2013 when Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Wilmink founded the company out of his San Antonio garage.

WHY: Health is important to us – it’s the root of all things. Without it, we can’t fuel forward to think, create, and make the world a better place. Dr. Wilmink founded WiseWear on the belief that healthy lifestyles should be easy to achieve and maintain with the ease of technology. That is, technology that is truly wearable and desired to be worn on a day-to-day basis. Our goal is to make healthy a habit so consumers can better understand their bodies, monitor their health & wellness, and ultimately, live a balanced lifestyle. Beyond technology, fashion and design also play a crucial role in the creative ingenuity behind our products. We strive to create wearables that serve a true purpose, without sacrificing style.

So what now? Visit us often and be on the lookout for exciting new content published on a weekly basis. Stay in the loop as we roll out new features, styles, designs, and product updates. And don’t be shy! We’re always happy to hear your thoughts, comments, and suggestions.

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