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Wearable Tech: Beyond Google Glass

You would be hard-pushed to find someone who could honestly say that they are not even just a little bit excited by the launch of such a game-changing piece of wearable technology as Google Glass, some might say it’s the tech of the decade. But for those of us that are now pondering the impact of wearable tech on ecommerce, we took a look at some of the other emerging innovations that will change the way brands interact with consumers in the coming years.

Sports Tech

One of the areas that appears to be making most ground in wearable tech is fitness. Since Nike launched its renowned Nike+ sensor in 2006, we have seen many new innovations in the world of health and fitness that have changed the way in which we workout. From lap and stroke counters in a swimming watch, to Samsung’s eagerly awaited vital signs monitoring SimBand, brands are releasing exciting innovations that keep us better informed, more connected and constantly striving to be better, faster and stronger.

The link to ecommerce isn’t obvious; sports tech isn’t going to sell products to your customers. But what it will do is give you data, and lots of it. What you can do with this data is very exciting indeed, and could help you bring your marketing to a whole new level of personalisation. Imagine being able to recommend certain golf clubs based on a player’s swing (take a look at Zepp’s GolfSense), or foods and health supplements based on activity levels and sleep patterns (Sony’s SmartBand connects to an app called LifeLog)

It’s still early days, but these innovations are busy sending a plethora of information to apps, that with API access and marketing alliances with brands, have the potential to change the way we market our products to consumers, whether in-app, on digital, or in the real world.

   

Smart Watches

Already spotted on the wrists of gadget lovers in the Red Hot Penny offices, smart watches represent an interesting development when it comes to opportunities for retailers. With many already coming with their own app store (https://getpebble.com/), smart watches have the ability to be whatever their owner wants them to be. And in the same way retailers have embraced mobile as a way to connect with their audience, the smart watch offers another communication channel. Location-based marketing could get the chance to really mature - I’d love to see smart watches give us the data to take retargeting multi-channel, enticing customers back to store, or later, online to make the purchase.

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Interactive Clothing

Burberry received lots of buzz for the ‘Smart Personalization’ service it launched as part of its Burberry Prorsum Autumn / Winter 2013 collection, which saw the brand embed scannable digital tags in its clothes and accessories. When scanned with a smartphone, or when tried on near in-store mirrors that double up as a screen, the tags trigger video content such as how an item was made. The potential for this technology to extend way beyond digital content is really exciting – welcoming customers personally when they enter a store wearing a ‘tagged’ garment, or using location-based marketing to push enticing messages when a customer is nearby. How mainstream this could become is a little more questionable, with costs restricting it to premium brands and alliances with other smart wearable technology potentially offering lower barriers to entry for brands.


Ones To Watch

Wearable tech that we’ll be keeping an eye on:   

The bionic pancreas – not linked to retail in any way, but we love that this technology could make a massive difference to the lives of people with diabetes.

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Sony’s SmartBand and LifeLog App – already mentioned, but its total life monitoring, from activity levels to which bar you drink at, is very interesting. It could signal a whole new informed approach to ecommerce marketing, along with being a great way to monitor and improve health. 

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Moto360 – it’s considerably more beautiful than its smart watch counterparts and is an eagerly awaited release

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Amazon’s wearable tech store – never one to miss out on a trend, Amazon has just launched its dedicated store for wearable technology, offering more than 100 different wearable devices. 

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And a final thought from Mashable which gave us a giggle...

“Don’t be a glasshole” 

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