Where technology meets fashion: Carlos Belsué, CEO, Armillion
Carlos is Co-founder and CEO of Armillion Genave, a Swiss company that created the first ultra luxury contactless device, a jewel that fuses functionality, exclusivity and luxury like never before. After 15 years experience in the IT industry and luxury markets, Carlos is leading the outstanding craftsmanship of a team of jewelers, artisans, engineers and designers committed to perfection, bringing to life a flawless bracelet that features cutting edge technology in contactless payment services and security access for supercars and stunning homes.
Where do you draw inspiration for innovation?
I definitely consider that the key for inspiration starts in the observation and analysis of the behavior of individuals around us, and continues with the ability to offer them some creative solutions that can have a significant impact to change those behaviors for good. Our fields in innovation are so opposite as both physics and Fintech, as gold alloys and cryptography, but our methods are fundamentally following the same argument: mind wide open.
What do you see as the greatest global innovation for 2018?
Over the last few years, blockchain technology has been the biggest disruptive innovation, but we need to be cautious to embrace anything that comes to us using Blockchain as a validation for its business model or customer acceptance. If we talk about 2018, I really saw a relevant innovation in the application of biometrics in payment validations solutions.
What puts Armillion at the forefront of tech and fashion?
Well, we are proud to be the first company to create a precious metal jewel that can embrace the technology for contactless payments and security access, and without the use of batteries. Gold, Platinum and Titanium were never used for wearables because of their physical features. Our team developed from Geneva - Switzerland - an innovative design and the right precious alloys and materials to create a new symbol of wealth and power that fits perfectly with a Tourbillon watch or a supercar steering wheel.
The Armillion Collection enables contactless payment, unlocking of cars and homes, without charging.
Within the context of PayTech, where do you envisage the future of convenience and jewelry?
We followed a concept since the first inception of our product: Freedom is the new luxury.
For UHNWI, little details make the difference, so we are offering them freedom in those little details: they don´t need to look for a wallets or keys into their bags or jacket, they don´t need to use wires and charge another device, they don’t need to remove it from their wrists when diving in the Mediterranean. We create comfort and we are offering valuable minutes that are usually lost everyday for a group of people that really treasure time.
What is the greatest hurdle for innovation within the cross roads of luxury and technology? How can the ecosystem as a whole overcome these hurdles?
Our experience before Armillion made us face a situation where Luxury and Technology were not always a great romance. We all remember a recently extinguished luxury phone company that was not able to carry on to the same level of commitment expected from the luxury materials and the tech developments on their devices.
In Luxury, you need to be committed and devoted to your customer, because - as we used to say: "in luxury you will only have the opportunity to fail once".
Any final thoughts for readers exploring fashion that enables technical convenience?
It´s a matter of time that technology lands into fashion, but customers need to be critical and not accept any technical convenience that affects to luxury in terms of materials, craftsmanship or design.
Luxury always has a legacy and tradition as its religion, and even being a new firm, our Swiss ateliers are proud to be following the tradition of expertise and savoir faire over generations.
Technology is comfort and convenience, but it has to have a sense and a soul.
Join Carlos at the 10:50 AM Power Panel: Who Needs Cash? The Highlights and Lowlights of Moving to a Cashless and in the Near Future, Cardless Society December 5 at FinTech Connect.