Constant connection to the internet, pulse and pace monitoring 24/7, pants that massage away your doughy thighs, shirts that wick away sweat, hugging jackets, and even undies that can thrill you via smartphone… not science fiction…already here or imminent and investible.
Kopin Corporation (NASDAQ:KOPN), a Boston based computer headset technology company, is opening a Wearable Tech Center in Silicon Valley and Chief Technology Officer Hong Choi told the Boston Herald wearable tech will be a $1.5 billion business by next year quadrupling by 2016. According to research company MarketsandMarkets wearable tech will grow by over 30% per year through 2018.
Five companies are at the forefront of wearable tech. Two are gimmes, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) with a widely anticipated iWatch and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass (also a possible Google smartwatch). Other companies that are tech fashion-forward are NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE), Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA), and VF Corp (NYSE:VFC).
VF Corp (NYSE:VFC) is at the crossroads of two trends, wearable tech with their java infused jeans that purport to reduce cellulite and apparel personalization with its Vans sneakers.
VF Corp (NYSE:VFC) is a Dividend Aristocrat, alone among these fashion tech disrupters for reliably raising its dividend for 25 years or more. For investors that want value plus a stable yet growing yield VF Corp (NYSE:VFC) is the go-to name. The yield is 1.90% with an 18 trailing P/E.
NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE), too, has personalizable shoes and “smart shoes” that give performance data thanks to pressure sensors and an accelerometer in their Nike+ sneaker line for basketball and other sports. Their Nike+ Fuelband is a wristband with accelerometer that syncs with an iPhone to track workout stats and allows users to compete against other Fuelband friends and even upload their stats to twitter and Facebook. And you thought cat photos were boring.
NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) is only up 13.22% over the last year and the yield is 1.30% with a forward P/E of 20.68. Compared to Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA), which is up 24.14%, NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) is losing the momentum race. Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA) is the pioneer in functional athletic wear with its moisture wicking clothes invented by CEO Kevin Plank. NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) also has similar functional apparel.