It is estimated the wearable technology industry will hit $10 billion annually within the next three years, with nearly 200 million devices being in use by the general public. (1) These devices go beyond Google Glasses or the occasional fitness band with a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone app. They have permeated the medical, fashion and electronics industries, creating new markets and greater demands. As these markets take hold, the smart entrepreneur will want to be positioned to take advantage of newly developed opportunities.
The look and feel of a finely crafted timepiece is a thing of beauty. The only thing better than a classic watch is a classic smartwatch. Innovations like the Samsung Gear S2 are paving the way for wearable designs with rounded screens and rotating bezel controls. Wearable devices are replacing things we use in our day-to-day but are adding upgrades in the form of electronics. For the most part, they allow traditional devices the ability to connect to the internet of things (IoT), the network of all electronics interconnected by the World Wide Web. (2) Entering this market is quite literally creating the better mousetrap. Consumers will want common, traditional items with an added electronic component.
The New Hobby Enthusiast
Wearable technology is all about interconnectivity and the new marketer will want to tap into both emotion and location. The new hobbyist is using these devices to monitor activities while communicating with other aficionados. Take Garmin’s jogging wearable tech as an example. Their wearables have all of the common function people would expect: heart rate, pace and distance. What makes them special is the Connect function, allowing users to find like-minded joggers and send data to the community. (3) To take full effect of this market, a business needs to become part of the community, both digitally and physically.
Health Care And Longevity
A disruptive innovation is one diverging far enough from the status quo to create its own market, one that previously did not exist. This is what we are seeing in the blending of wearable tech and healthcare. Where once a piece of jewelry could tell emergency workers a bit about allergies, demographics and illnesses, new devices will have telemetry that communicates vital information directly to hospitals and doctors. Blood sugar, heart rate and neuro-function are all transmitted automatically for the health of the client. As a disruptive innovation, the marketing implications of this technology are up to the company’s imagination. It is safe to assume the promise of longer life and healthier days will be quite the marketing incentive.
A New World For Children
The development of asphalt was not meant to change the lives of children but, as every ’70s child with scraped knees from the black-top knows, it altered the culture in which children played and parents parented. Wearable technology is poised to do the same. Devices specifically for children may give youth back a sense of freedom as parents gain security in their child’s safety. Kid trackers are opening a market for child play with GPS location functions. (4) In the same way a child of last millennium will talk about the days before the remote control, today’s child will only know about the electronic location device that allowed mom and dad to know their every move.