No, these aren’t technologically advanced Weebles, the delightful children’s egg-shaped, roly-poly toys of the 70s. Wearables are one of the hottest technologies this season and the market is expected to skyrocket.
Wearables can be anything from wristwatches that alert you to text messages and emails to activity trackers that measure blood pressure, heart rate and sleep quality. Let’s not forget Google Glass, a Geordi LaForge-esque headband with a small computer screen that overlays our field of vision. Who doesn’t need that, especially at $1,500 a pop? (Incidentally, the Star Trek episode “The Game” predicted this device in 1991 where people were forced to wear a device eerily similar to Google Glass that was psychologically addicting, rendering anyone who played it incapacitated. The game stimulated the pleasure centers of the brain when players successfully complete each level so the creators could take over the Universe. I don’t know about you but that sounds oddly like Candy Crush to me… but I digress…)
So far, Google hasn’t been able to take over the universe yet as fitness and health wearables have dominated the market, with the Fitbit, Jawbone and Nike Fuelband among the hottest sellers, but the industry is still in its infancy.
My guess is wearables will evolve into a completely different animal in the next few years as we adopt them at a higher rate and they become less “trend” and more “utility.” As of now, attention is widespread but adoption isn’t because they don’t add value to our lives yet; they are a novelty.
It stands to reason that wearables will eventually become an integral part of our lives because the kind of information they give us is different from our other devices. Wearables are intimate and have unique characteristics that help us project our identity (or the one we want conveyed) into the world. They can provide information about things in our lives all day long; they’re our own personal Brand Trackers. They keep us honest and, as real-time Marketing Data does, they help us make adjustments to improve our output.
I don’t know about you but as interesting as wearables are at the moment, I’m holding out for the Prada Pedometer.