Things have been rough for wearables of late. Companies like Fitbit are struggling, while Jawbone is apparently looking for the next big move away from the consumer category. And then there’s Pebble, which simply couldn’t survive on its own in the end. But Warren Buffett is apparently still convinced that there’s a future in the space.
Berkshire Hathaway’s fittingly named Richline Group is set to launch a new line of wearable jewelry called Ela (Elegant Lifestyle Accessories) later this year, and the billionaire says he believes that technology is the way forward, contrary to a recent downturn.
“Jewelry is a centuries-old business that isn’t going anywhere, so it’s a safe bet,” Buffett told CNBC. “With the addition of technology, we’re simply updating something everyone knows and loves to better fit our modern age.”
The jewelry will have built-in Bluetooth to connect to a mobile app, featuring what sounds to be a pretty standard array of wearable functionality, including fitness tracking notifications. ZDNET’s report also includes mention of sharing “memories,” along the lines of music and photos.
Of course, jewelry-based technology has been a tricky bet in its own right, and while the company boasts of higher margins, technology’s upgrade cycle doesn’t really comport all that well with the expense of high fashion.