Recent stories in the tech world have turned the spotlight on wearable tech and its potential. Even though wearable tech has been said to be on the brink for a number of years, it appears this year could see the launch of major wearables. Not only that, but a number of wearable products have already entered the market without much fanfare. The image below, from Fjord, shows how users can already be decked out from head (Smart Cycling Helmet) to toe (Sensoria Smart Socks) in innovative technology.
Thread count or Hyper threading?
Apple’s reported interest in Beats by Dre to the tune of $3.2 billion has come at the same time as a now debunked rumour that Apple was poised to launch biometric headphones that would measure heart rate and blood pressure. While the story turned out to be written by an anonymous sufferer of high blood pressure on the Secret app, Apple does have a number of patents relating to biometric headphones and has been hiring researchers specialising in biometrics for a while.
It’s no big new that Apple is also on the verge of finally launching what has been one of the world’s worst kept secrets: the iWatch As with most Apple products, this will not be the first of its kind on the market; it will be competing with Samsung’s line of smart watches. However, it is expected to continue Apple’s tradition of refining and popularising an underdeveloped product category. With its rumoured biomedical applications it has a universal appeal beyond Samsung’s current offerings.
Other Players Entering the Market
Apple is not the only tech giant rumoured to getting into wearables.
Facebook’s purchase of fitness app Moves and to a lesser extent Oculus Rift has fuelled speculation that Facebook are positioning themselves to take over the wearables market. Even Nintendo has teased that they are entering the health technology market, although with a non-wearable product (at first).
The company that is most openly invested in wearable tech, however, is Google with their Google Glass.
Google’s innovative product has already had a great deal of attention – both positive and negative. But the backlash against Google Glass has also kicked off without it being available to the general public.
While Google continues their seeming long term plan of making Glass widely socially acceptable, other players in the market have gained critical intelligence from goolgle’s entry to the marketing. Inadvertently, they’ve given other companies useful feedback on how to design wearable products.
The Dash Smart Earbuds are typical of these new discreet wearables and their success on Kickstarter shows that there is a widespread interest in these products.
The Train is Fast Approaching the Station
As these wearables from smart watches, glasses and earbuds become more ubiquitous it’s almost certainly going to be crucial for business to keep up and reach out to customers in new interesting ways. Imagine customers walking into your store sporting Dash Smart Earbuds and being greeted by a short welcome message and information about the specials. Wearable products will shift the focus from mostly text and image based marketing to include much more variety.