Today I am grateful for my behind-the-time iPhone 5S. With the new 6 and 6 plus, beginning today (much earlier than the previously announced holiday season launch), a big handful of major retailers will allow customer to check out via Apple Pay. There are times I leave the house without my wallet, but almost never am I without my iPhone, but now, should it be necessary, an iPhone 6 user can drop by Bloomingdales and drop a chunk of change with just the touch of a fingertip. Come 2015, those with an Apple Watch on his or her wrist can do the same.
The new iPhones have the capability to store credit card info with a simple scan. When purchasing, the phone will be held up to a reader, with your thumb against the touch ID pad; and assuming all goes smoothly, you’ll hear a beep. Apple says it’s safe. We can’t know for sure yet, but it’s certainly easy.
So who’s in so far? Walgreens and Whole Foods are signed up. The aforementioned Bloomingdales too, and more fashion/beauty hotspots including Sephora, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Free People are coming on soon.
Last week’s viewing of the Apple Watch, set at Colette, during Paris Fashion Week made one thing unmistakably clear–Apple intends to make this watch a must-have #techcessory (I coined that, people).
And what’s just as chic as pop-up’s at one of the world’s most renowned high-fashion concept shops? A very top model, of course. It seems top model Liu Wen can’t contain her excitement about what may be a very big casting. At the pop-up, she insta’d–see below, with the caption: “My second meeting with the Apple Watch, this time in Colette! The first time? Well, you’ll see soon.” I hope this means she’ll be starring in the campaign: 1. she’s gorgeous, duh, and 2. well, after a hintsagram (groan, I know) like that, it’d be kinda embarrassing if she isn’t.
Excuse me fashion but get out of the spotlight. Tech would like to make an announcement. In case this week of intensive tweeting, instagramming, and constant phone charging hasn’t been enough for you, you can now prepare yourself for a slew of new Apple products and technologies, especially, the Apple Watch.
What does the watch do? As far as I can tell the question should be what doesn’t it do. The sharing options are endless: from your heartbeat to drawings to special-Apple-made emojis (yes, new emojis!), and even a walkie-talkie feature, this watch will make you equally social and punctual. Being that it’s NYFW, it’s of course important that the watch has a number of style variations from leather bands to metal, and looks more like, well, a watch, than many of the new, shiny “wearable tech” products we’ve been seeing.
The great fear of the technological era isBig Brother watching you. That fear has largely given way to acceptance of our fate. The boss knows what we are saying, knows where we are, knows where were going, and through devices like Facebook knows our favorite everything and who we sleep with. The powers that be can theoretically know more about us than we know about us. With all the negatives we give up, we gain speed in communication and new ways to do business. We can keep in touch with friends who years ago would have become long lost. Now comes yet another positive…I think. Big Brother is now looking out for you if you let it. A new application by Chec-Mate allows you to find out about the sexual safety of that person sitting across from you at the bar who is looking better after every cocktail. Chec-Mate makes obsolete the throwing-the-dice aspects of sexual relations. Your phone will tell you whether or not that hottie is STD free if you decide to opt in. It’s for smart people with smart phones. It’s an iPhone app for $1.99 and is available on Android as well. Eli Dancy came up with this fancy idea and the Safe Sex License which is recognized by the Center For Disease Control (CDC) and The New York State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. I asked all about it.
Explain how this works.
The Chec-Mate application can be downloaded now via the Apple App Store for a limited time at a retail price of $1.99 for a (1) year activation. Users simply download the app, register, and upload a photo. A confirmation email will arrive with the user’s personal "Screening Verification Form" (SVF) attached. The user can use the app to locate an authorized screening facility and then take their form and have their screening administered at the facility of their choice. After the screening is completed, the facility will return their screening verification form and screening results to the User. Users can follow the instructions on the (SVF) to submit your results for final verification and full activation of their Chec-Mate™ application.
In a way, this app enables worry-free multiple partner safe sex. Is there a disclaimer or encouragement for users to still use condoms?
Yes, members must agree to our User Agreement each time they choose to share their screening information, we also encourage all users to use alternative methods of protection in conjunction with the Chec-Mate application. Like anything, the Chec-Mate App should always be used responsibly, just as one is responsible for going the speed limit even if their vehicle allows them to exceed it. We expect users of Chec-Mate to continue being responsible when engaging in sexual activity with any and all partners they choose to become intimate with. The responsibility to use the Chec-Mate application responsibly will always be the end decision of the user.
How will you expand your market? How will you get people to sign in?
We are excited to have the opportunity to continue providing a service that is truly needed via the Chec-Mate mobile application. Now that users have worldwide access via their smartphones. We plan to continue sharing our excitement via mediums such as yours and other appropriate outlets looking to share new ways of living a safer, smarter, and healthier lifestyle.
How accurate is the testing?
All of our users are referred to have screenings conducted at Center for Disease Control (CDC) certified screening facilities via their facility locating portal www.hivtest.org.
If you are wildly successful, won’t it be impossible for a person suffering from an STD to get laid?
We look forward to the Chec-Mate application assisting millions in continuing their responsible sexual practices. We feel that, regardless if one chooses to use the Chec-Mate application or not, individuals should always make an informed decision before they engage in sexual intercourse. Individuals who carry an STD have, if not a legal responsibility, then a personal responsibly to inform a potential partner of any known infection before becoming intimate with them. What Chec-Mate brings to the table is not a change of responsibility to share information with ones’ partner, but a practical, safe, and secure platform to do so.
How will a person’s negative information be protected from public disclosure, or is that not done as it’s the reason for this?
The Chec-Mate system services those who are fully negative and also those who have been infected with an STD. All users have 100 percent full control over who they share their personal screening information. Additional security features have been integrated in the Chec-Mate application that protect users’ information from being freely view by unauthorized individuals. STFree does not share ANY of our user information with third parties, ever.
Are males and females separated into gay or straight categories? Someone I spoke to said this would be huge in the gay community rather than the hetero world. How do you react to this?
No, we do not categorize any of our members. The Chec-Mate application provides a variety of benefits to its users equally, regardless of their sex or choice of lifestyle. STIs do not choose who they infect nor is there an accurate way of gauging who one chooses to become intimate with. We believe that sexual responsibility starts with self-responsibility. The Chec-Mate application is a platform for one to conveniently promote their personal awareness and dedication to protecting their sexual health.
This is interesting: Uniqlo’s UK chief executive Takao Kuwahara recently sat down with The Wall Street Journal to reveal his raw thoughts on the massive fast-fashion retailer’s success. Rather than provide safe responses to run-of-the-mill interview questions, Kuwahara guest edited the piece by sharing 11 Uniqlo takeaways that ranged from refreshingly honest to downright lofty.
In addition to revealing that 90% of all Japanese people own Uniqlo, one of the most fascinating moments in the piece is when Kuwahara compares the brand’s value on customer service to that of Apple, declaring that the technology giant is their main competitor. "We don’t see ourselves as having competitors in the fashion-retailing space," he tells WSJ. He goes on to slam comparisons to the Gap, explaining, "we are not style-driven, we do not believe customers need advice on dressing themselves—they are smart enough to make their own choices."
Finally, he notes that although Uniqlo is in third place amongst international fast-fashion brands like H&M, Limited, Inditex (Spanish retailer) and the aforementioned Gap, they’re on a mission to become the "No. 1 clothing retailer in our sector within the next 8 years." If they keep rolling out compelling campaigns like this, we say they’re well on their way.
Wearable tech has been abuzz among the tech, fashion, and consumer communities lately. Innovations in smartphones, smart watches, and other wearable accessories with technological purposes are beginning to infiltrate the market with interesting dynamics, as seen in a recent study conducted by the influence analytics firm Appinions. It seems companies like Google and Apple have much more planned for us – it’s just the beginning.
With the recent rollout of a campaign for the Galaxy Gear smart watch, Samsung impressed many with the functionality of its new wrist wear – but beyond the tech obsessed, will we really wear it? I need it to look better than that – I hardly turn my phone off enough as it is. Convince me, Samsung. Romance me.
Regardless of my opinions of the aesthetics of the watch featured in the video, it seems there may be another version in circulation. Oscar de la Renta’s PR star Erika Bearman recently Instagrammed a Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch belonging to Hannah Bronfman, so whether or not the design is stylish in itself, the functionality is taking precedence, at least for some influencers. To be fair, Hannah’s white and metal version out-fashions the other iterations on view in Samsung’s TV and YouTube spots – they’d be wise to showcase the best looking versions.
In regards to Google Glass, model Coco Rocha wasn’t too shy to voice her qualms about it when testing the product for PCMag (not a fashion magazine, obviously), not least of which the awkwardness of the glasses. They’re not exactly stylish, nor discreet. But Google is upping other cool factors, like the introduction of the music function interaction, and earbuds designed to work specifically with Google Glass, maybe to make up for it. They’re still frighteningly obvious as a piece of wearable tech, and not necessarily a fashion piece, so there’s still work to be done. Maybe Linda Farrow should swoop in and collaborate with Google on a truly stylish pair – Linda Farrow has already proven to play well with others, and Google could use a boost of chic.
Apple seems to have taken note of the need for wearable tech to also be fashion – after all, it scooped up execs from both Burberry and YSL in the past year, Angela Ahrendts and Paul Deneve, respectively and impressively. Though we haven’t seen the fruits of Apple’s wearable tech labor just yet, they’ve filed for trademark rights on the iWatch in Japan, so you can bet it’s coming, especially since Apple CEO Tim Cook finds the wrist “interesting.” It’s something he has in common with many a fashion designer, though perhaps for different reasons. Still, maybe they should have a chat. Personally I’m holding out for an iWatch that calls to mind the timelessness of a Tank or Ballon Bleu. So Apple, it’s like I told Samsung: Impress me. I love to be courted with pretty things.
One piece of wearable tech that caught on functionally and stylishly is Nike’s FuelBand – it’s meant to be sporty, so the appropriately sporty aesthetic is chic – it fits where it’s supposed to, especially in this time we’re in with sneakers (albeit the right ones) as appropriate footwear at, and not just to the office or drinks. We’re also so obsessed with our own stats; it fits right into society’s current interests and aesthetics. Right place, right time.
The most obviously fashionable of all tech collaborations has to be the CFDA’s eBay collaboration on USB bracelets with designers like Mara Hoffman, Michael Bastian, Milly, Rachel Zoe, and Shipley & Halmos. Though functionally simplistic, they are wearable tech, and fashion focused. We just have to get the high tech guys working with the high fashion ones.
I’m rooting for you, tech giants. In the words of Tim Gunn, “Make it work.”
After the hype which came with the first promotional photos and a mixed showing at Sundance, the Steve Jobs biopic formerly known as jOBS is coming ever closer to wide release. And with that comes the first trailer, and the first extended look at Ashton Kutcher stepping into the role of the Apple founder from his formative years to the founding of his company, his removal and his return again. In it, we see Jobs as the journeyman hippie, as the young tech icon on the brink (complete with lots of shouting and banging fists on the tale) and the forming of his partnership with Steve Wozniak, played by Book of Mormon alumnus Josh Gad, which seems to be a solid casting move.
At the close of the trailer, where Kutcher launches into Jobs’ iconic, motivational-office-poster "here’s to the crazy ones" speech, he starts to look more and adopt more of the mannerisms of Steve Jobs, making it feel less like you’re watching Ashton Kutcher live out the early years of Steve Jobs’s life and more like a biopic. Jobs hits theatres August 16th, but in the meantime, you can watch the trailer, and prepare for the movie that will probably launch a few quadrillion more incarnations of that "Ten years ago we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash" dead-horse meme.
The last time I willingly watched Ashton Kutcher act was when forced to sit through Two and a Half Men at the behest of my fourteen-year-old brother. But with the upcoming release of jOBS—Joshua Michael Stern’s film about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and his ascension from college dropout to one of the most brilliant creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century—we’ll all see Kutcher in a much different role, as he takes on the titular role. The film premieres at Sundance on Friday and will make its way into theaters come April 19th, just in time for the 37th anniversary of the founding of Apple computers.
A new clip from the film has been released in which Kutcher and Josh Gab as co-founder Steve Wozniak, as they discuss a new operating system. Kutcher declares, "This is freedom!" as Wozniak asks, "Who wants a computer?"
Naturally we each spend up to 95% of the average weekday wondering what form the machines’ rebellion against their human masters will take. But in all our post-apocalyptic fantasies, we never guessed the first attack would be so insidiously simple. The much-reviled Apples maps iPhone app, which comes bundled with iOS 6, has been luring Australian drivers out into the wilderness to die.
People were justifiably pissed when Google Maps, whose greatest sin was telling you that a bar that no longer existed was still there, got swapped out for Apple’s crappy version. This, however, is an invitation to world war. Or maybe just revenge for all the barely-obsolete smartphones we toss in garbage dumps way out in the middle of nowhere.