In this guest piece, Atomic 212 chief executive Jason Dooris talks wearables, the industry and intimate marketing opportunities up for grabs with your consumers.
According to research firm Tractica, by 2020 over 75 million wearables will infiltrate the workplace.
The transition towards smart clothing is predicted to grow at a rapid rate, and according to figures by Gartner, by 2018 two million employees will be required to wear health and fitness tracking devices as a condition of employment. Indeed, wearables are an area to watch in 2016.
The benefits associated with a digitised workplace have undoubtedly paved the way for an increase in flexible work hours, particularly with the ability to work remotely via tablet and laptop devices. As consumers look for ways to simplify their lives so too do employers.
It is interesting to consider the infinite possibilities of the digitised and not so distant future. And more importantly what this means for the workplace – imagine a device capable of recording employee habits, interests and health information?
Wearable devices quite literally have the potential to capture and store our personal data at a higher rate than any other device previously owned.
So what does this mean for the digital direction of marketing and advertising?
One word: intimacy.
Emphasis on the modern day smart device is increasingly focussed on enhancing the capabilities of our everyday experiences. Brands are endeavouring to enhance user perceptions by constructing tools that facilitate engagement and interactivity, opposed to merely viewing it from behind a screen.
For example, the Microsoft clip device, set to launch in 2016, is more than a funky little device that fits snugly in your ear. Instead, “the human ear” is the ideal place to measure biometrics such as heart rate and temperature.
In this context, it is interesting to consider the possible transformation of health insurance and the prospect of a less expensive future, as insurers monitor fitness levels and advise preventive measure from afar.
Samsung’s new Blind Cap is another favourite of mine. Developed with the Spanish Paralympic Committee and Cheil Spain, this innovative product enhances the experiences of vision impaired Paralympic swimmers by releasing a gentle vibration at each end of the pool.
As we increasingly seek new ways to simplify our lives, monitor our health and fitness, and chart personal information, wearable tech is a viable option – and not to mention prime platform for personalised marketing.
These devices will produce an endless stream of valuable consumer data which will generate new insights, and new avenues for reaching consumers. Of course, alongside these developments we will see continued concerns about privacy, an issue which is increasingly on the agenda as data collection continues to grow.
As the scale and scope of innovation increase, so too does the use of wearables. In this context, since their early inception we have seen how consumers and brands are shifting wearables into completely new areas of functionality – there are wearables designed to help with decreasing obesity and increasing life expectancy; there are even wearable to help you remember the names of your colleagues.
A digitised and innovative landscape has indeed created the ideal arena for marketers to capitalise on this increased sense of intimacy, with highly targeted and personalised messaging.
As always, the key will be the creation of relevant and targeted messaging, rather than invasions into people’s privacy.