Wearable Technology – 7 Industries To Win Big
In a very short period of time, technology cannibalised almost everything. A decade or so ago, with the launch of the first iPhone, a new technological revolution started: the smartphone revolution. Ten years later, a new cycle commenced: the wearable tech revolution, the revolution of connected gadgets.
Conform to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report titled “The Wearable Future” wearable technology is admittedly “the next big thing,” already recognised as a new industry. Forecasted to reach $6 billion by 2018, and almost 130 million wearable devices shipped by 2018, wearable tech, is going to change the world in a similar way the smartphone does, but in a much shorter time.
Wearable technology interacts and transforms at any level, almost any industry you can imagine. Wearable technology, in various configurations and applications, takes existing industries to their “next level” and here are seven sectors we used to exemplify better what’s coming.
1. Wearable Technology – Retail
Wearable technology plays a pivotal role in our daily retail experiences, despite the initial brush off due to privacy and data breach concerns.
Conform to PwC’s research, the millennials generation manifests the highest interest in wearable tech-enhanced retail interactions, with 76 percent saying they would use wearable tech if the result is a more “efficient and pleasant” shopping experience.
By 2020, most retailers interact, using IoT devices (beacons) with the purchaser’s wearables or smartphones, pushing ads and collecting relevant data, on the go.
Wearables – in different shapes and forms – such as smartwatches, connected accessories, luxury pieces of smart jewellery, smart labels, and much more, are mutually used by the retailers and buyers. Wearable technology helps both, the companies to obtain relevant user insights while giving the wearer access to better prices, special offers and discounts.
2. Wearable Technology – Fashion
The fashion industry is one of the biggest winners in the long run, with the use of wearable technology. I don’t mean fitness trackers and smartwatches but embedded – connected, flexible, waterproof – sensors in your shoes, clothes, bags and accessories giving them almost human abilities.
More fashion designers are fusing tech into their creations, in a synergic trend described by function and fashion and thanks to these smart sensors, the garments of tomorrow can message you when the time to clean, repair or recycle them has come.
Smart, connected fabrics can now be monitored 24/7 in real time, or even traced down to their original manufacturer, avoiding theft and counterfeits, straight from your smartphone.
More than that, thanks to the evolution of smart fabrics and conductive textiles, the next fashion tech outfits can keep you warm, cool, protected, or dry, no matter how severe or harsh the weather conditions are.
3. Wearable Technology – Social media
Thanks to wearable technology, the influence of social media will continue to grow, especially in retail, advertising, and fashion. Conform to PwC’s report, most consumers expect on-the-go access to social networks, via wearables. “On the go” means that social media leaves your pocket (smartphone) and moves to your wrist and even your eyes, thanks to AR and VR.
Moreover, if the Millennials are leading the “always connected” trend, so far as they are three times more likely to use social media than the baby boomers, the charts are going to take off when the generation Z and Alpha take over.
4. Wearable Technology – Entertainment
The entertainment industry also ties in nicely with the social media, fashion and retail. Almost 73 percent of the participants in the survey think that wearable technology is going to make the entertainment industry and the in-store retail experiences “immersive and fun.”
The surveyed participants are not looking to wearables “to create new types of entertainment and digital communications but rather to augment and improve those already in existence,” according to the report.
“Where there is a screen, there is an opportunity”, and this is what the entertainment industry is about to experience, thanks to the widespread adoption of virtual and augmented reality. AR and VR, to transform the way we purchase goods, fashion, perform activities and sports, watch shows, communicate on social media and play computer games.
5. Wearable Technology – Advertising
While we still notice old style marketers trying to readjust to the digitisation era – as much as they comprehend – by pushing for classic advertising models on new mediums such as smartwatches and smartphones, the winners in advertising are those employing virtual and augmented reality.
Clever implementation of AR and VR leads to more screens, and more screens mean more places for marketers to advertise. Wearable tech brings a new type of “digital canvas” if you like, ready for the future marketers to draw on their masterpieces. Game fused advertising, if needed, with Pokemon Go as the best example. The future ads are better targeted, easier to digest and have optimal relevancy to the user.
6. Wearable Technology – Healthcare
Wearable technology, through fitness trackers and wearable health monitoring devices, already helps the health-conscious wearers keep an eye on their health in detail. From steps taken to calories burned and from heart rate to sleep, brain waves and VO2 max, there is a wearable device for anything you need.
Similar Read: Fashion Trends – How Technology Changes Everything
However, more companies involved in the $3 trillion U.S. health-care industry are looking for ways to explore wearable technology based ideas, aspiring to squeeze maximum profits from the data the wearables could capture from the users.
PwC highlights Walgreens as the emerging leader in this very competitive space as the company specifically channels multiple wearable techs obtained data, from over one million users of Jawbone, Fitbit, and Misfit trackers, and exchange it back for special points.
Then, the user can exchange these points for cash, in the company’s stores, or purchase goods online via the brand’s website.
7. Wearable Technology – Gaming
Conform to PwC’s report, 97 percent of 12 to 17 children in the US, play at least one hour of video games each day, and this is the industry that wearable tech is going to change first and augment the most.
With 64 percent of the 18 to 24-year-olds interviewed by PwC saying they want wearable-integrated gaming, expect wearable technology to modify the gaming industry at both levels, physically and visually, at the same time.
Wearables are set to change the way we work, live, play, shop or even do business and to remain competitive, your company’s only change is to embrace, invest, adopt the wearable technology, in any shape and form, as soon as possible.