With the creation and innovation around technology exploding by the minute, it’s no surprise there is a lot of buzz around the future of wearable technology.
The basic needs and desires of humans are now being addressed in simple to use, always present and affordable technologies that solve problems on the spot.
The best part? You don’t have to carry these solutions anymore. You can wear them.
Wearable technology can be defined as technologies that can be worn close to the body, on the body or in the body.
People looking to lose weight and get fit can count calories and distance walked through watches and wristbands without having to think about it.
Fathers can speak to their babies while at work through recorded sound stimulations mothers can wear around their waists.
Consumers can capture the moment in real time by simply telling their glasses to take a picture or record video, all in first person point of view, without pushing a button.
The capabilities of wearable technology are astounding and have barely touched the surface of what’s to come.
However two main questions come to mind in following this trend. “What will wearable technology mean to our safety over the next few years?” and “What do marketers need to do now to get ready for the changes in communication mechanisms?”
Safety or Harm?
There is one very pressing question on the tops of people’s minds when it comes to wearable technology. Will we become more or less safe with wearable technology?
One argument suggests less people will be harmed by distracted drivers and at work injuries simply from not having to carry or look down at a hand held device. Having your head up means less chance of severe physical injury or even death. If the information you’re looking for is now in your line of vision, will that make our roads and workplace safer?
On the other hand, there are three high-risk dangers as well. Will people be more distracted by technology because it is directly in their line of vision, will the increased radiation closer to our bodies cause further harm to our cells, and what personal privacy issues will we need to consider with these changes?
A recent study conducted by a group of grade 9 students that got international attention proved that wi-fi and cell phone radiation damages, mutates and kills living cells.
Further, geo-tracking in mobile devices today can put our families seriously at risk, with pedophiles and stockers finding where we live, where our kids go to school and play, then advertising it on craigslist or underground information sites.
We need to consider how privacy settings will work on wearable technologies and be sure to proactively protect ourselves, our families and our mental wellbeing with these advancements as well.
So what does that mean for our bodies and brains? Will wearable technology have more or less effect on our physiological well being?
With the velocity of growth in wearable technology, and the already high demand by users wanting to get their hands on affordable devices, we are likely to find out sooner than later.
How Marketers Can Prepare
Regardless of the physical and emotional results of wearable technology becoming mainstream, the fact remains that its going to become the new norm and marketers will need to adjust their strategies in order to reach buyers.
Google will likely have the easiest time reaching consumers through Google Glass, since they will likely be able to feed ads through pictures, videos and search results. The logistics of how search rankings will show will change, since the future will allow people to speak to their device and get an immediate result, without a click.
What will this mean for SEO and PPC strategies into the future? Will social and multimedia marketing become even more essential, while search dies out? Will performance marketing still have a role when the shift happens, and if so, how will performance be tracked at that point?
Luckily, we have a few years to find out and adjust our strategies accordingly. This will not be an overnight change, but one that’s coming none-the-less. Statistsa predicts that by 2018, it is estimated the wearable technology market will be worth 12.6 billion U.S. dollars.
Let’s be prepared for the change that’s coming.
Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.