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The State of Wearables: An Interview with Jason Wade

We spoke with local entrepreneur Jason Wade this week, after he returned from the largest watch show in the world in Hong Kong – a show Jason has been attending for years. Jason is just about as connected into the wearable tech seen as one can be, and will be launching The Wearist, a wearable tech podcast covering trends in wearable tech. He is also the founder of the Wearable Tech, iBeacon, and IoT meetup; their next event will be October 5th.

How many years have you been going to trade shows in Hong Kong? Do you go to any other national or international trade shows?

I have been attending the Hong Kong Watch Fair for my company, Modena Watch, since 2006 and importing from China/Hong Kong since 2003.

My business partner and I have also attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas (CES), the Hong Kong Electronic Fair, and many other trade shows in the US.

How have you seen wearable tech evolve over the years at the show?

This was the first year that many companies had smartwatches or what we would consider wearable tech products. Lots of fitness trackers, but some cool watches, bands, etc. like: Kairos Watches

How important is attending these shows to your business?

I have found this show and other trade shows to be very valuable for opening my mind, finding new products and trends early on and establishing relationships with suppliers.

Do you think the wearable tech scene in Hong Kong is more prominent than it is here?

Yes. Hong Kong has a good wearables, IoT and startup scene. I had the chance to visit a few events and many coworking spaces.

I also met with a Forbes/TechCrunch writer to discuss the tech scene in HK. Everyone is still trying to make sense of wearables and the huge technological transformation that the Internet of Things is bringing.

The best IoT and wearable tech scenes are in Canada, Chicago and California, however, Orlando and Florida do have very innovative companies in this space like Sighthound, Tropo (acquired by Cisco for $80 million recently), UniKey, Magic Leap, Kairos, Disney and Uproar PR, a local PR company that represents top global companies and sponsors large events such as We Are Wearables.

What does Orlando have to do to become like Chicago, in stepping up its wearables’ scene?

Have a point person out of UCF, OTA, or the EDC actively (and full time) lead the organization and promotion of the Wearable Tech, VR and IoT community, startups, and companies.

What are some of the trends in wearable tech nowadays?

Fashion, payments, medical, gaming and smart things access (home, cars, etc.).

Did you see anything crazy at the Hong Kong Show?

A few really bad Apple Watch knockoffs…

What is the best smart-watch out there, in your opinion?

The Apple Watch by far and it will only get better with WatchOS 2 and future improvements.

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