Wearable technology was one of the key themes of the show where most of the major electronic brands including Samsung and Apple reveal whet they have planned for release and development in the next twelve months.
A survey of international audiences by Accenture though found that in Britain at least, and most likely in Ireland as well though we did not feature in the survey, the willingness to engage with the technology was behind that of other countries. Over 50% of respondents in the US said theye were likely to engage with a smart watch or internet connected glasses whereas the number on this side of the Atlantic was below 30%.
LG’s Life Band Touch and Sony’s Core were the two highest profile launches in the wearable space and both are designed to appeal primarily to people who are keen to track physical activity and exercise as part of an overall fitness programme.
The Core is perhaps the most ambitious though also the most undeveloped in terms of a final product. Billed as a life logging device it will include not only the movement and sleep patterns that other devices have but will also, apparently, have the ability to track social and entertainment interactions you might have as well as locational tools to provide the fullest picture yet of what you did over the course of a day.
The marketing potential of such devices is without doubt. for retailers, service providers and many more who can now tailor product in a way that could only have been dreamed about as little as a decade ago.
The key to getting the data out though is to get the equipment on and that is where sport fits so well.
The idea of a smartphone worked because people bought the idea of a phone as a useful piece of technology that they could have with them or not as the case may be.
The additional benefit of wearable tech is that it is less obtrusive and therefore more likely to record rather than interrupt your activity.
People wil not wear technology in order to provide marketing data to big business but they will if it helps track their exercise, fitness and health.
This should be part of the sponsorship portfolio for every major mass participation event in 2014 and beyond and if the tech companies really want to get product onto bodies, they need to be engaging an audience that is willing to wear the product in light of the benefit it brings them.
It is a smaller niche than the phone market but every journey begins with a single step.