Wearable technology, and the biometric data it gathers, has far more applications than just in the fitness realm. Wearables stand to influence the way we interact with brands and the way they interact with us on a day-to-day basis. With increasing rates of new devices and user adoption, the ubiquity of these devices will not only influence individuals, but entire groups and populations. The recent introduction of the Apple Watch will likely play a big role in furthering both adoption and technological advancements.
Companies Looking to Capitalize on Wearable Data
New companies are looking to offer more diverse information based on what our wearable sensors pick up. Rather than measuring how many steps or calories, new apps like Mindshare and Lightwave gather data on a macro-scale and are showing marketers just how useful that information can be. This is not strictly for the benefit of marketers. In an increasingly connected and digital world, traditional advertising can often be an obtrusive influence on our experience. Adaptive marketing has for some time been a buzzword for tailoring messaging to meet consumer needs, i.e., showing them ads that they might actually want to see. Mindshare and Lightwave look to take this beyond simply educated guesses based on searches or location. With group biometric data gleaned from wearables, marketers will be able to tailor their activities to meet customer interests and needs based on real-time data.
Marketers Finding More Effective, and Acceptable, Ways to Reach Consumers
This new technology can be used to know what music people danced the hardest to and update the playlist automatically to reflect those songs; change the lighting of a room based on overall mood; and unlock group prizes when a crowd gets particularly wild, at a music or sporting event. The data can also tell marketers when people are focused or agitated by their communal micro-movements. Rana June, CEO of Lightwave gives a more specific example at a sporting event:
“We’re noticing that the temperature outside has risen two degrees, and we know there’s a lot of physical activity and that this is actually creating an uncomfortable environment. That is not the same as targeting someone who’s on a workout. It’s about a broader experience. Let’s say a beverage brand is able to distribute a drink. There’s just a lot of opportunities that are created by having an extra layer of intelligence that’s very actionable.”
What Does this New Technology Mean for You?
The more connected we get the more opportunity there is for brands to market to us in creative and potentially useful ways. While ubiquitous computing is a somewhat intimidating prospect for some, younger generations are increasingly forfeiting their traditional “privacies” for enhanced utility, ease-of-use and more relevant messaging. Advertising is only a nuisance when it is for something you do not care to see. Advertising great, William Berbach, once said, “Good advertising does not just circulate information. It penetrates the public mind with desires and belief.” That task may become a whole lot easier when individual devices are capable of broadcasting insights about entire groups of people at any given time. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you and your privacy settings.