Names in review: Wearables
It’s time again for our regular, if inconsistent, Names In Review! This is where we do a quick dive into new(ish) brand names that are making their rounds in the marketplace. As professional namers, what do we think of these names from a brand perspective? Do they work? Are they flops? Either way, why? This time, we are exploring the mind-blowing space of wearable technology. This emerging category of products aims to monitor countless bodily functions from heart rate and sleep cycles to posture and even skin tanning! If a biological process can be quantifiable, companies are looking to capture it in a device—and this is swiftly revolutionizing the medical and technology industries by empowering consumers to take their health and lifestyles literally into their own hands. In fact, Statista reports that connected wearable devices will jump to over 1.1 billion by 2022 as 4G switches to 5G—which shows that this trend is just getting started.
While wearable technology has been around for a long time with big-company products such as Bluetooth, Apple Watch, and FitBit, here we’ll focus on some of the smaller brands that are producing wearable technologies with special use cases—and most specifically, unique names. Let’s take a look:
The Oura Ring is designed to monitor your biological sleep patterns to improve your sleep and general health. Likely coined from Aura, this name captures the idea of being surrounded with gentle protection or support. It feels sensual yet modern. This soft, minimalist style of name is trending these days with other brand names such as Hum, Nest, and Calm flooding the market.
This brand makes socks, cameras, and bands to track the biology of sleeping babies, and also the biology of pregnant mothers. Likely coined from owl and towelette, Owlet feels very accessible, soft, and gentle—ideal for the mother & child demographic. The sensitivity of this name also works to offset the fear that is associated with the serious issues that these devices are intended to prevent. In general, this is a kind and intelligent name.
This brand designs Smart Garments or bodysuits equipped with sensors that monitor various systems including respiration and cardiac function. Hexoskin sounds cool and mysterious. The name could refer to a hex, or magical spell, which is the idea of clothing that possesses special powers. The name could also denote the number six, which may refer to the six different functionalities of the sensors. Overall, this is a unique name with lots of story that can be built into it. AthosAthos designs base layers of clothing that track and record muscle activity and heart rate data in athletes and sport teams. This coined name sounds like a hybrid of Athens (which has hosted recent olympic games and is associated with ancient sports) and ethos (which is the characteristic spirit of a culture or group). Athos is a wonderful example of a highly evocative name that really captures the essence of a brand. Here, it evokes the energy of athleticism, heroism, and vitality.
This brand imbeds sensors (equipped with vibration and audio feedback) into yoga clothing to help improve posture and stretching. WearableX feels futuristic and cool, like the groovy brainchild of Elon Musk (think SpaceX). Their articles of clothing are branded under the name Nadi X—Nadi is a yogic term that refers to energy channels in the body. Both the brand and product name speaks quite well to the intersection of body performance, specialized lifestyles, and biotech.
And the world of wearable technology is expanding even deeper through popular subsets. For example, “smart rings” are a type of wearable technology that are gaining a lot of traction in the marketplace. Brands such as AOrii, Motiv Ring, Blinq, Amazon Echo Loop, and NFC Opn speak to this trend.
As wearable technology continues to reflect and redefine how we engage our everyday lives, there is a growing need for the branding world to find identities and messaging that feel equally people-centric. By taking into consideration the deeply human ways that we are increasingly connecting to life and then showcasing this through suggestive and evocative brand names, wearable technology is winning over curious and experimental audiences in our rapidly evolving world.