A brief history of wearable tech

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A brief history of wearable tech
British stage actress Zena Dare (1887 - 1975) models some sort of acoustic headset, 1900s. (Photo by Vintage Images/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1934: A forerunner model of the famous Walkman is presented on the occasion of the London Radio-Fair, Photograph, August the 16th, 1934 (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) [Ein Vorl?ufer des Walkman wurde auf der Londoner Radiomesse pr?sentiert, Photographie, 16, August 1934]
The first combined computer-calculator and wristwatch to be produced, known as 'Pulsar', on show at the International Watch and Jewellery Trades Fair at Wembley, London. (Photo by Malcolm Clarke/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 22: Four subway riders listening to their walkmans. (Photo by Dick Lewis/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Headset radio: Publicity portrait of American broadcast journalist Mike Wallace, who wears a wireless headset and holds a pad and pen ready, May 7, 1964. Wallace is demonstrating new wireless equipment he will use for the upcoming 1964 Republican National Convention. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
Models display a wireless mini-computers and other high tech gadgets Wednesday June 14, 2000 during the "Brave New Unwired World" fashion show at Bravo! located in downtown Minneapolis. US Bancorp Piper Jaffray teamed up with Charmed Technology to give investors a sneak peak at the futuristic wearable and wireless gadgets that will allow people to accesss the World Wide Web anywhere anytime. (AP Photo/Dawn Villella)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 11 -- Aired 01/20/2007 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kristen Wiig as A-hole girl, Jason Sudeikis as A-hole guy during 'Two A-Holes at an Adoption Agency' skit on January 20, 2007 (Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - OCTOBER 26: Steve Jobs (2nd-R) of Apple Computer poses with Interscope Geffen A&M Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine (L) Bono (2nd-L) and The Edge (R) of U2 at a celebration of the release of a new Apple iPod family of products at the California Theatre on October 26, 2004 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show. Savannah tries out Google Glass -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
PALO ALTO, CA - APRIL 10: An Apple Store employee wears an Apple Watch at an Apple Store on April 10, 2015 in Palo Alto, California. The pre-orders of the highly-anticipated wearable from the tech giant begin today as the watches arrive at stores for customers to preview. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
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There's a new theme every day on It's Vintage. Read more articles on today's topic: the History of Wearable Tech.

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.


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