MetaGem CEO David Chang
MetaGem is carving its niche in the fashionable wearables space with Intelligent Gem, a stone with a digital chip, which can track activity, check one’s vital signs or alert its wearer of incoming calls, emails or texts.
Founded in 2014 by company CEO David Chang, MetaGem is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, and has offices in Hong Kong and the US. In a world where fashion and function make a winning combination, the young company said it has the expertise and the business savvy to grow the wearable tech business in Asia.
In an interview with JNA, MetaGem’s Chang talked about his company’s market positioning, the exciting opportunities in wearable technology and the services his team offers.
JNA: What’s the value proposition that MetaGem can offer traditional brands?
David Chang: We can help our customers differentiate themselves further from the competition. We mainly have B2B clients, many of whom are jewellery brands and designers.
What’s so great about MetaGem is that through its chip technology and various applications, it can help traditional brands reconnect with younger consumers. We can make their products much more exciting and appealing to this customer base.
By making fashionable accessories functional, we are making jewellery-making, which is a traditional craft, exciting once again. We also have an app that enables traditional brands to engage and build real-time relationships with consumers. This is an effective tool in their customer-retention strategies since it keeps track of consumers’ buying preferences and behaviours, enabling them to create personalised buying experiences for their target audience.
JNA: What inspired you to establish MetaGem?
Chang: Two years ago, some traditional fashion marketers began launching smart jewellery collections. They, however, had trouble dealing with technology jobs such as PCBA design, software development and mechanical design, and manufacturing and after-sales services.
That’s where we come in. MetaGem is a one-stop solutions provider. We will do the research and development work, product design and development, and even manufacturing, product strategy planning and system maintenance for traditional brands. In the future, we can even deliver big data support. We can turn our clients’ vision or idea into a real product. By outsourcing their product development needs to us, they will not only shorten their product development schedules from about four to nine months down to two weeks; they will also incur less risks and lower costs.
JNA: How big an impact do you think would smart technology have on the future of the jewellery industry?
Chang: Younger consumers hold the key to the sustainability and growth of the jewellery sector. For centuries, jewellery has been associated with social status, influence and wealth. As time goes by, however, jewellery has become less of a status symbol and more of a fashion accessory especially among younger consumers.
The traditional jewellery market has shrunk, which clearly shows that younger consumers are not as fascinated by jewellery the way the previous generations did. This younger audience prefers to spend money on consumer electronics and holidays in exotic destinations. I believe that smart jewellery has the potential for explosive growth, not only in China but worldwide. Jewellery that incorporates electronic technologies is the next big thing in the industry.