Presenting a TechTalk on the future of wearable gadgets Thursday, Stuff’s Will Findlater explored the factors that he said could lead to mass adoption of wearable tech. (Full disclosure: Stuff, like Campaign Asia-Pacific, is a publication of Haymarket Media.)
Pointing to the rising number of devices on the market, Findlater said that the value of the global market for wearable technology is expected to reach between $6 billion and $18 billion by 2018. But he added that the main barriers to mass adoption were style and function.
“There’s a different threshold for how good a wearable has to look, simply because it’s worn,” he said. “Aesthetics are absolutely key to the success of smartwatches—and to wearable tech as a whole.”
But why should marketers jump on the wearables bandwagon? This was a question that Surender Dhaleta, editor at e27, explored in the session.
“Wearables are personal and are contextual, and that brings to us with it lots of data about each of us—our likes and dislikes and how we react to certain situations and brands," he said. "The possibilities for a marketer are endless."
Dhaleta added that successful brands would be able to harness wearable technology to streamline the “four Ps of marketing”; product; pricing, promotion; and placement. He predicted that once wearable tech is fully adopted, store managers wearing Google Glass or something similar, could track the footfalls in stores, gaining live data on customer profiles and behavior. This data, he said, would impact each and every aspect of marketing.
Taking wearables a step further, Dhaleta also said that brands should “forget wearable” and focus on the connected home. He suggested that in the future, consumer products ranging from refrigerators, music systems and televisions will all be controlled by wearable gadgets.
“If you are feeling hot or cold, your smartwatch will send data to the air-con and adjust the temperature accordingly,” he said.
Campaign’s observations: The hype around wearable technology is huge, and the session explored some interesting devices and how these might be used in marketing. But while we wait to see if/when all this gadgetry becomes mainstream, it would have been really cool if the presentation had involved a talking fridge, wearing Google Glass, suspended from a drone. At the very least.