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Pedro Martínez, CEO of Mobileknowledge, speaks about Luxury, Technology and Innovation at the Global Chief Innovation Officer Summit in Istanbul (Turkey) on the 19th October 2017.

Turkey is striving to become more innovative in order to become globally competitive. Although innovation is a driving force for all economies, it’s especially important for countries like Turkey in order to escape the “middle income trap” and leap forward. It’s not enough to just become creative – innovation is a holistic process that must be managed as part of a larger strategy that builds financial results.

Pedro Martinez participated in the panel “Wearable Technologies: Dream or Reality”, and presented his views on the luxury accessories market, in connection with innovation and technology.
Luxury brands must innovate or die in the new digital age, when confronted with the new generation of millennial digital buyers. Here, adoption of digital technology can provide a way forward, as technology is a natural innovation driver. But… at the same time, it is also commonly accepted that technology is one of the great luxury destroyers.

How is this? “Luxury” is a relative, context-dependent quality. Water is a luxury in the desert, free time may be a luxury for many of us. The defining nature of luxury is scarcity. The defining feature of technological progress? Precisely the opposite. Technology has been the most democratizing and egalitarian force of human history. Whether it is the wheel, or the internet, every time a major technical innovation has happened, some element of social exclusivity or privilege has been torn down as a result. Technology development needs, in general, huge investments behind it, which can only be recouped when moving into the large volume, once again leading to the opposite of scarcity.

So, how can we tackle this apparent dilemma of luxury-technology-innovation? We may consider again what it is that appeals to the new generation, the millennials. What are their values, their concept of luxury, where are they ready to spend their money? As we move on in this digital age, a key concept starts to emerge: the value of the “experience” rather than the value of the “possession,” or the experience in connection to the owning of an object. Owning something unique is not necessarily the trigger anymore, but rather being able to experience something unique.

We can then consider breaking the apparent dilemma of luxury-technology-innovation, by considering the technology, linked to the usual luxury devices, as the enabler of further and more powerful sets of unique experiences to their final owners and users. Here is the new turn for the wearables…wearable luxury, but now smart and connected. The new luxury will be the innovative experiences connected to them.

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