Wearable technology’s greatest hurdle thus far? The actual wearing bit. No matter how enticing or cutting-edge the stuff inside may be, for many (the fashion conscious, particularly) there is a disconnect between innovation and actually attempting to incorporate it into one’s wardrobe. But if anyone can bridge the gap between high-tech curio and cool-girl accessory, it’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim.
The Opening Ceremony duo have teamed up with Intel to create MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory), arguably the world’s most luxe wearable: Snakeskin, semiprecious stones, and 18-karat-gold plating play surprisingly nicely with the curved sapphire touchscreen. After a debut in OC’s Spring ’15 production back in September, the bracelet’s full functionality was unveiled to the press today.
And while, sure, MICA vibrates when you get a text and will serve up Facebook and Gmail notifications, per Lim, “It’s not meant to replace your phone—it’s meant to connect you to as many people or as few people as you want it to.” Users can curate VIP contact lists for a decidedly personal experience, what Barneys fashion director Tomoko Ogura dubs “being connected in a discreet way.”
Retailing at $495 in two colorways (black and white, bien sûr), MICA will be available at OC’s New York and L.A. outposts, select Barneys locations, and at openingceremony.us and barneys.com from early December.
Here, seven other things you need to know about MICA:
1. It’s in good company: MICA has two bold-faced partners in TomTom and Yelp, which offer GPS, nearby business recommendations, and even ETAs to a given destination based on whether you’re walking or cabbing it.
2. It lasts, and lasts: MICA boasts an up-to-48-hour battery life, depending on your usage.
3. MICA can go it alone: You won’t need to sync it with your phone.
4. Luddites, rejoice: MICA’s interface is intuitive and straightforward. “It’s untethered—you open the box and it works,” says Lim.
5. You’ll get your money’s worth: The price tag includes a two-year wireless plan from AT&T, MICA’s exclusive carrier.
6. You’ll avoid awkward mid-dinner text sessions: Set up auto-response messages and send them with a single tap.
7. It’s breaking new ground: In addition to being Intel’s debut fashion collab, MICA will also be the first wearable to be sold in a department store when it hits the jewelry cases at Barneys.