Warren Buffet Brings Elegant Lifestyle Accessories to the Wearable Space

Warren Buffet Brings Elegant Lifestyle Accessories to the Wearable Space

The billionaire businessman Warren Buffet is a notoriously prudent investor — he once famously said, “Never invest in a business you cannot understand” — recently announced a somewhat surprising move to invest in wearable technology.

His Richline Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of his company Berkshire Hathaway, which focuses on jewelry, recently announced a new wearable line.

Zdnet.com explained:

“Starting with wristwear, Ela (which stands for Elegant Lifestyle Accessories) is the Richline Group’s first foray into wearables, which should eventually extend into multiple product categories like rings and earrings.


Photo credit:  http://www.richlinegroup.com/

Using Bluetooth Low Energy, Ela connects to both iOS and Android devices. It has a step-tracking feature that syncs with Apple Health and Google Health Kit. However, the company was interested in producing something better than just a “prettier step tracker,” Cliff Ulrich, product innovation manager for the Richline Group, explained to ZDNet. The wearable also connects to the Ela app, through which you can create and share photos and other “memories” like special songs or a voice recording. The memories can be pre-loaded when giving it as a gift to someone else. A user can also create alerts — the gem on the device will softly glow and vibrate when someone on your alert list is trying to contact you. Users can set the device to glow a certain color for specific contacts or groups.”

CNBC looked into Buffet’s mindset with this investment, especially given the newness of mass-market wearable technology. Turns out, he views it more as enhancement of his existing jewelry business, rather than a new foray into technology.

“Jewelry is a centuries-old business that isn’t going anywhere, so it’s a safe bet,” he told CNBC in an emailed statement. “With the addition of technology, we’re simply updating something everyone knows and loves to better fit our modern age.”

Ulrich added, “We’ve designed Ela to be jewelry first. As a jewelry company, we understand jewelry retailers and consumers, what they want to carry and buy. They want to create an emotional connection, whether your giving Ela as a gift or buying it for yourself because you just got a bonus. Ela allows you to save memories in your jewelry, like a modern day locket.”

It’s a new perspective on wearable tech we haven’t quite heard yet — time will tell if the tech is as good as it sounds.

Cover photo credit: Fortune Live Media– Photographer:Stuart Isett/Fortune Most Powerful Women on Flickr

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