What is the Jewelry of the 21st Century?
December 09, 2013
While recent tendencies of avant-garde and art jewelry seem to be following a collective drift toward "string and anti-technique," my observation is that jewelry of the future will combine style and digital function. This prediction arises from what I am wearing right now...a FitBit Bracelet (and other styles available). The competition in this field will unquestionably bring more imaginative forms and new functions.
The bracelet goes far beyond decoration. This jewelry of the future is telling me how many calories I've burned, steps taken, distance traveled, activity level, calories burned, heart rate, and monitors my sleep patterns.
A much older distant cousin of the body monitor function in the jewelry world is a one of a kind Heart Pulse Sensor Bracelet from 1973 by Mary Ann Scherr*. StarTrek, Dick Tracy, and Captain Nemo also foretold of jewelry and communicating functions.
What does it say when I buy this FitBit bracelet for $99 instead of contemporary, handmade jewelry by my craft kindred community?
The battery lasts up to five days and survives showers and sweat. It seems that FitBit actually sells additional "colorful bands to fit your mood." Check out the accessory band colors below.
I want one in every color....so I'm waiting till they sell the combo pack with every color.
The orange, teal, and navy bands now available as a 3-pack are not enough for my jewelry maven personality. I want more colors, more options, and the answers to the technical issues regarding fit and materials.
Jewelry makers out there; Are you ready to make a niche in your jewelry for the FitBit component? I am not kidding.
The entire functional component in the FitBit bracelet is about 1/2" long and 1/4" wide. See it below.
Below is another view from a FitBit Flex Teardown on iFixIt. This one single water tight component is the only working portion of the bracelet.
I see no reason why jewelry makers could not be integrating these and related products into their jewelry. Look at these functional components and think about how this could change your jewelry in the future.
I am thinking hard.
How about collaboration between jewelry makers and FitBit! A whole show of the FitBit jewelry and a tribute to the pioneers like Mary Ann Scherr. Who knows....I already wrote to Fitbit. They are based right near where I live in San Francisco, CA. (Links to Fitbit products are affiliate links.)
*Learn more about the body monitor jewelry of Mary Ann Scherr:
Televison interview with Mary Ann Scherr I recommend watching the television interview first. Consider that in this interview she is an astounding, energetic 90 years old. Near the end they talk about how her body monitor jewelry was before its time. How ironic!
Oral history interview with Mary Ann Scherr from the
Mary Ann Scherr Designer, Educator, Goldsmith, Jewelr from e3motion.com
Heart Monitor Necklace by Mary Ann Scherr