With all of the recent fashion-industry hoopla around the Apple Watch, Google Glass, and other dubiously cool smartbracelets and fitness trackers, it can be easy to overlook the fact that the concept of wearable technology isn’t actually all that new. Even before the dawn of computers, people were used to incorporating newfangled gadgetry into their outfits, from early headsets and clunky portable stereos to the eventually ubiquitous Walkman.
Recent years have seen the fashion and technology industries become increasingly eager bedfellows: Diane von Furstenberg and Sergey Brin teamed up to give Google Glass a NYFW runway debut in 2012, and last year, the Apple Watch made the cover of Vogue China, Madame Figaro did a Glass-themed shoot that paired the device with a Burberry gown, and Opening Ceremony joined forces with Intel to design MICA, an “intelligent communication accessory.”
Whether or not these devices are actually fashionable remains up for debate — but if history is any indication, we can expect to keep seeing wearables integrated into the style of the day. Click through the slideshow for a look back at the evolution of wearable technology, from radio headphones to the Bluetooth to the iPod.