Technology's cold war

Technology's cold war
SHARE
THIS



A race is on to connect, transform and digitise mundane household tools. The outcome is set to have repercussions for industry and for everyday life. But will smartwatches and the like take off or will privacy concerns grind innovation to a halt? Jessica Kennedy finds out 

There's a new cold war underway. The modern version doesn't include a race to the moon but it could end with us looking out of this world. It doesn't feature Russia or America but the victor will more than likely vanquish the stragglers. It doesn't feature threats of nuclear war but it's an arms race.

It's the race into wearable technology and it's a battle being fought by innovation and tech giants Apple, Google, Samsung, fitness brands and the indie start-ups. 

"There's always a race on the latest bit of tech, whether it's a phone, TV or running shoe. When it comes to screens though, it's always incredibly fierce," says production company Finch's director of applied technology, Emad Tahtouh.

Google Glass ignited the fire, and rumours of an iWatch are keeping punters on their toes, with Samsung recently unveiling its first smartwatch at the IFA 2013 consumer electronics show, and also the Kickstarter funded Pebble watch. 

In September Nissan become a surprise player in the war launching its smartwatch Nismo – which monitors the biometrics of the wearer as well as the car – at the Frankfurt Motorshow. There's Nike's FuelBand, MisFit's Shine and FitBit all aimed at the more athletic consumer. 

Then there are the more 'out there' advancements such as self-cleaning fabrics and Nokia's patent for a vibrating tattoo.

The race is definitely on but speed to market is not going to define the winner, it will be the inventor who gets it right that will win. As it stands, will wearable technology ever be mainstream or is it innovation for innovation's sake?

 

Everyday technology

"Wearable technology will become part of our everyday life in the same way that we use the internet for online banking, or use our mobile phones to do a host of things other than talk to our friends," says CumminsRoss' new chief digital officer Scott Heron.

Andy Lark, chief executive of Group Lark, believes that we will all have two or three wearable tech items on each of us down the track. 

"Much in the same way as it was impossible to sit out the smartphone revolution, this one will also be impossible sit out," Lark says. 

Mindshare's chief digital officer questions the longevity of smartwatches that "basically duplicate smartphone functionality". "The watches don't do it for me; they're 21st century Dick Tracey watches," says Ciaran Norris.  

But Lark, the former marketing lead at Commonwealth Bank, says it is important not to focus on their current form and instead cast your mind forward. 

The race to wearable technology may be on but it's only in its infancy. "When they work out how to shrink lithium-ion batteries to the size of an ant, that's when you know the floodgates are about to open up and the big boys are going to come out and release something groundbreaking," Tahtouh says. 

When they do hit a chord, Heron predicts the adoption rate will be very fast, akin to what we saw with the arrival of the iPad. New players will rise to prominence and household names may fall behind. 

Either way, when this happens the devices are sure to shake up the media landscape.

 

Media quake

When wearable technology takes off, Lark says the effect will be significant. "They will underpin a new era in relevant marketing and communications," he predicts.  

The rise of wearable devices will drive the adoption of Bluetooth low energy (BLE), according to Tim Devine, creative technologist at DT, who believes this in turn will "finally forge a path for digital payments".  

When content is able to more easily shift between devices, wrist devices may be able to control bigger screens. 

"You might pick up any tablet or smartphone and it doubles as your device. I like the potential for 'shell devices' populated by your cloud account, this would open up new media channels," he explains. 

 

Data, data, data

Enhanced personalisation of offers and a boost in location-based marketing are the more obvious outcomes of a flood of always-connected, data-gathering wearable tech products. 

A wealth of gritty data opens up opportunities but it also leads to greater complexity and changes consumer expectations. 

"With the self quantified, through sensing and processing data from all aspects of your life, advertising and marketing may need to reassess what the value is in a quantified value exchange," according to Devine. 

For example, the common concept of offering a discount when a consumer parts with a set amount in one transaction, or offering one free coffee in every six will be seen as "programmed and dull".  

"Random moments in life are often the best," adds Devine. "Maybe we'll end up in a Skinner Box rewarding more exaggerated behaviour." (see below)

Privacy

Google Glass has given rise to "untold issues that need to be covered off", according to Norris, and these concerns are likely to rise in prominence, thanks to fear of the unknown, before they subside. 

For instance, the Wall Street Journal claimed Glass is "years away from hitting the European market" due to privacy concerns. 

Ensuring companies use the data for good and not for evil is tantamount to making consumers comfortable. 

Picture this scenario painted by Heron: "If I am wearing my iWatch in an area of town where there is a crime – is my insurance going to go up? 

"People will only use these devices if they feel their data is being respected and protected."

Being visually and audibly recorded is quickly becoming the norm, not the exception, according to Tahtouh. "The term 'right to privacy' itself is what's going to go through the biggest change. Ultimately I think people have to either be more vigilant about what they want to protect, or start letting go of what they traditionally considered to be private." 

 

Future gazing

The race into wearable technology may be heating up but the starting gun has only just been fired. Smartwatches, fitness focused armbands, sensors in your shoes. All the developments on the market so far only automate an existing technology or behaviour. 

"That's great but hardly revolutionary," says Lark. "The real breakthroughs in wearable technology are yet to come. We have real problems to solve and what we have today is, well, a small step for mankind."

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Digital Breadcrumbs: Picking Up The pieces your competitors leave online
  • Opinion

Digital Breadcrumbs: Picking Up The pieces your competitors leave online

In this guest column, Meltwater’s area director, David Hickey (pictured below), says a quick glance at the mountains of data your competitors are producing can fast prove a boon for your business too… It’s time for businesses to start paying attention and embrace the new digital reality we’re living in. We are currently in the […]

Opinion

by David Hickey

David Hickey
“The Rock” Leads a Flotilla Of Athletes In Huge Under Armour Campaign
  • Campaigns

“The Rock” Leads a Flotilla Of Athletes In Huge Under Armour Campaign

US sportswear giant Under Armour has enlisted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to front a series of inspirational new ads featuring a host of sport stars and fitness icons. Created by Droga 5 the campaign is called “Will finds a way” and includes eight ads in all. Johnson aside, the spots include actress and martial arts star, Zoe Zhang. Fellow […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Media

Free TV Calls For ACCC Oversight Of Facebook & Google

In a submission lodged with the ACCC inquiry into digital platforms, industry body Free TV today called for greater regulatory oversight of Facebook and Google. The FreeTV submission identifies a number of key areas of concern: Heavy regulation on traditional media providers and almost none on Facebook and Google Questionable claims about the reach, viewability, […]

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts
  • Media

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts

APN Outdoor has used its annual general meeting to announce three key contract renewals: Transport for Brisbane, Transdev Melbourne and Adelaide & Parafield Airports, for multiple years. Company CEO and managing director, James Warburton, said: “These contracts represent an important part of our advertising offering. The far-reaching impact they provide delivers a compelling proposition and cements our commitment […]

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren

It's the latest in our Women In Media profiles, and this one is so good you'll possibly get a nervous twitch somewhere.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers
  • Marketing
  • Media

LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers

M&C Saatchi Group’s customer engagement specialist agency, LIDA, has crafted an initial eight-episode series of bite-sized animated videos designed to help busy marketers stay ahead of the game. ‘60 Second Gets’ draws on LIDA’s wealth of experience to unpack the latest industry tools, tech and thinking. Launching today, the first video, ‘Success in 6 Seconds’, […]

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking
  • Campaigns

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking

Today Naked launches its ‘Start Talking’ campaign for Gidget Foundation Australia; a not-for-profit that provides support for families who are affected by perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA). The centrepiece of the campaign is a powerful TVC that brings to life this common, but often hidden illness, and shows how Gidget Foundation’s ‘Start Talking’ telehealth program […]

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums
  • Marketing
  • Technology

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums

For the first time ever, AFL spectators will be able to view real-time Telstra Tracker player data via in-stadium LED signage, thanks to the combined efforts of Telstra, Champion Data and MKTG. By integrating the Telstra Tracker data into the LED signage at the MCG and Etihad Stadium, fans will receive contextually relevant information from […]

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering
  • Marketing

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering

Scentre Group has unveiled a new brand look and feel coinciding with the re-launch of the Westfield.com.au and Westfield.co.nz sites. This digital-first visual identity sees a shift towards creating a more contemporary, invigorated and colourful brand, reflective of Westfield’s in-centre experience. The iconic Westfield logo will continue to lead brand communications, supported with a new […]

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year

In this guest post, Keep Left’s head of consumer engagement, Johanna Murray (pictured below), explains the merits of experiential marketing, as well as sharing some tips on how to do it – and do it well. Humans love to label things – especially intangible things, like time. We like eras and ages and eons because they […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018

This trends report is a must-read for all marketers, although it contains no news on the return of the bubble perm.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Give And Take Feedback At Work
  • Opinion

How To Give And Take Feedback At Work

Georgia Murch (pictured below) is an expert in creating feedback cultures and author of Feedback Flow; The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Embed Change in 90 Days. In this guest post, Murch offers her tips on giving (and receiving) feedback from colleagues without botching it up… We all know that feedback matters.  Most of us want the good, the bad and the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney

Have you completely forgotten what Sydney looks like? Well, thankfully this story comes with a handy pictorial reminder.

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV
  • Media

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV

SBS Radio has announced two new digital radio stations – SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and a refresh of SBS Radio 3 – is now available on digital TV. SBS Radio 3 will broadcast world news and current affairs from the BBC World Service (previously airing on SBS Radio 4 on digital radio) and special events […]

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive

For its first Australian campaign, Champion has partnered with creative and content agency Emotive to launch a music program titled ‘Revealed’. The program champions emerging Australian artists by intimately telling their story through video, and providing funding and creative support to create world class music videos for new release music. The first Revealed artist is […]

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India
  • Marketing

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India

Australian-owned call analytics provider Delacon has continued its international expansion, opening an innovation centre in India to service local and global partners, and develop the next generation of call tracking and analytics solutions. The office in Chennai is the eighth for the Sydney-headquartered business, which enables brands and agencies to optimise marketing campaigns by accurately […]

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It
  • Marketing

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It

Sydney brand and digital agency Protein has been appointed to handle the retail and digital roll-out of recycling company Return-It, which has just been announced as the container collection network for the ACT. Return-It awarded the work to the 17-year strong agency, following Protein’s tender support and brand development of the retail concept. The public-facing […]

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure
  • Opinion

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure

This is an excellent article about celebrating failure. Although, admittedly, we failed to get to the very end of it.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt

Kimmie Neidhardt doesn't just have a very cool name, as you'll read here. There's a good head on those shoulders, too.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has announced the promotion of Nathan Soulsby to head of TV sales for Sydney. The announcement comes after Kristen Budd’s move to general manager of SCA’s Central Coast office. Caretaking the role during Budd’s maternity leave, Soulsby has been a key contributor to the consistent share and revenue growth that has […]

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments
  • Marketing

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments

Following the launch of Merkle in the Australian market in March, Columbus, a Merkle Company has secured nine new clients in three months, including Macquarie University, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited and Hipages. Columbus has also appointed two group business directors in the Victorian market, with Leonie Dawkins (pictured above, left) and Guy McGechan (pictured […]

Black woman in handcuffs
  • Media

Adland Industry Leaders To Be Locked Up In Prison To Help Aussie Youth

Over sixty senior leaders from the media, marketing, tech and creative industry will spend the night in jail as part of UnLtd’s Adland Bail Out, to raise funds for Whitelion. The ‘inmates’ will be handing over their mobile phones and putting on their prison overalls to brave a night in the chilling cells of Yasmar […]

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns
  • Advertising
  • Media

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns

Global out-of-home (OOH) advertising giant JCDecaux has announced a partnership with independent tech platform Seedooh to offer advertisers greater transparency for campaigns. Under the agreement, Seedooh’s reporting and verification platform will be integrated into JCDecaux’s system to create an independent campaign delivery reporting function that works seamlessly within the end-to-end campaign delivery processes. It will […]

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration

In this opinion piece, Seismic’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Andy Pattinson (pictured below), explains how marketers can work smarter and why collaboration is vital in delivering return on investment. Demand for marketing roles is growing, as marketers continue to learn more about what customers want. The marketing agenda is increasingly being tied in […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push
  • Marketing

Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push

Aussie food franchise Roll’d has announced it has signed on Melbourne digital marketing agency Impress!ve Digital to support its digital marketing. The partnership has already begun, with Impress!ve Digital aiming to significantly boost the company’s revenue through digital marketing strategies that are directly linked to return on investment and franchise acquisition. Impress!ve Digital has been […]

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!

If you think B&T simply runs these photo gallery stories so you can gawk at young, attractive people, you'd be right.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine