Stylish tech for the modern woman

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Your bag just got smarter

Never miss a notification or forget an event again. Remy makes your bag your most valuable accessory. A smart fashion acessory. By alerting you to the notifications that matter the most. Feel free to leave your phone in your bag. You bag charm will let you know when it's time to take it out. Image from Fendi

How this website works

The Remy website is half actual Remy website, half social analysis. The general rule of thumb: Remy content always comes first, then we will explain the content that was just represented. Usually we will indicate a switch with either a new heading or a color change. Depending on the layout of the page, we may put all content then all analysis or we may switch between content and analysis throughout the page. The Instagram is our 5th page of content. Have Fun!

Remy is for Remember

Remember to Live. Untether yourself from your phone. Be free to explore and live life without life getting in the way. Using the Remy app, set the notifications that matter the most to you and a discrete LED inside with Remy will notify you when you receive an important notification. Image from Ted Baker

Interestingly enough, Vivian came up with the name “Remy” from the Remembrall in Harry Potter. However, we intentionally hid this perhaps nerdy origin in order to maintain the extremely curated lifestyle image.

First Thoughts

A deliberate decision we made was to use the word “stylish” before “tech” in "Stylish tech for the modern woman." The main takeaway for the reader is that Remy is “stylish” and for the “modern woman” - it’s actual purpose and function are not important. Though we do explain that Remy notifies you through an LED, we purposefully left out the technical aspect that it would be connected to your phone using Bluetooth.

Some may argue that leaving out technical details is not a product of gender scripts: in Susan Elizabeth Ryan’s article “ Re-Visioning the Interface: Technological Fashion as Critical Media”, she discusses a point of view from “positivists” design technology with soft fabrics and different materials to “resolve clumsy and prohibitive problems of hardware vs. body.” However, simply comparing Remy to another smartwatch website, the Samsung Gear S2, Remy intentionally neglects to share any of the technical specifications. All technical jargon is intentionally avoided.

Introduction/Main Argument

While gender scripts are prevalent in most products, the disparity between men's and women's products is perhaps even more pronounced in wearable technology. The sophistication, high-functioning capabilities, and competence of current wearable devices somehow by default assumes a “masculine” quality. Devices that are “smart” are synonymous with masculine.

In order to appeal to females, new companies are not just repackaging smart devices but are actively minimizing their capabilities and reinventing them as fashion accessories. This new surge of fashion tech companies and deliberate reduction in features demonstrate that sociological constructs still shape the way we use and consume: that capability and “smartness” is masculine and technological incompetence and aesthetics are feminine.

Intuitively, we know that these stereotypes are myopic - obviously women are competent and there are men who enjoy fashion. However, the current wearables market provides a unique insight on how truly entrenched these archaic social constructs are. We use Remy, a fictitious wearable product, to recreate one of these product campaigns to highlight the gender script nuances in the wearable market.

Personal note:

At first, I must admit, I was uncomfortable with doing this project. As a female electrical engineer (who also enjoys fashion), I found it offensive and demeaning to trivialize our academic interest and present it as a fashion accessory. Why would I want to perpetuate the stereotypes that women only care about fashion and aren’t technically competent when I myself have actively striven to defy such views?

However, creating “Remy” was an incredibly revealing experience. It exposed so many gender scripts that I overlook on a daily basis. As we studied different wearable devices, I had to acknowledge myself that yes, I wouldn’t buy a lot of current “masculine” wearables because they’re hideous. And yes, as superficial or stereotypical as it is, I value the appearance and aesthetic of products I wear. I also must admit that even though I made fun of Ringly’s technological incompetence on the podcast, after editing the audio and listening to the Ringly pitch dozens of times, I’m interested in buying one myself. Yes, it’s a dumb device and it’s overpriced (and I probably can make my own). But it’s a cute cohesive product that might actually be useful.

My newfound appreciation for Ringly and acknowledgement of the appeal of these fashion wearables made me realize that these gender scripts are very persistent. Why do I value aesthetics so much more than my male counterparts do? Is it my personal interest in fashion or is my mindset a product of a long-extant social construct? (Probably both). Perhaps I won’t reach closure on why females like fashion, but after Remy I can say this: the distinct gender scripts in technology is more than present and is definitely here to stay in the near future.

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