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Expanding Wearables into a Connected Closet

Wearables have, in recent years, become a staple of the Consumer Electronics Show.

Beyond the realm of tech innovators and marketers, wearables are predicted to become a core part of the consumer tech tool kit in the near future. In fact, in November 2014, Futuresource Consulting estimated that wearable device sales worldwide had risen 32% between 2013-2014. And according to eMarketer and Ipsos, nearly one-fifth (or 20%) of U.S. Internet Users plan on purchasing a wearable in the next year, the top contenders being the fitness tracker and the wearable computer.

This week, we’re checking out the “must-see” wearable innovations at CES 2015. Like many great tech innovations, mainstream adoption may not be in the immediate future for these particular devices. Juniper Research estimated global shipments of smart watches at 1M in 2014, however predicts more scalable adoption (36M global shipments) by 2018. However, marketers should not discount the opportunities these wearable innovations bring and what implications they may have on creative, as well as media and targeting.

  • Who needs diamonds? Wearables are a tech-savvy girl’s best friend.

o   This Bluetooth-enabled Ring made waves in 2014 and is capturing tech lovers’ attention at CES this year! The wearable device lets a user complete an action with one gesture, similar to a magic wand.

o   The wearable of the future is far beyond a bracelet. As the wearables market becomes more widely adopted and increasingly fragmented, marketers will need to become more flexible (and strategic) about the devices for which they choose to create content, as well as more mindful about how to best leverage each device’s unique features. So long to years of one-size-fits-all marketing!

  • Get the skinny!

o   Fitness bracelets are so last year! Introducing Emiota’s Belty, the waistline health tracker that collects data via built-in accelerometer and gyroscope and keeps tabs on your exercise levels over time.

o   Beyond its ability to track weight fluctuations and sedentary levels, the belt also features “autoadaptability,” meaning it adjusts with your position, tightening and loosening on its own to find the optimal belt size for you.

o   Health and fitness will continue to be a growth space for the wearables market. For certain brands and verticals, this means a multitude of opportunities to reach different audiences across different devices.

  • Safe and sound.

o   This smart luggage lock, eGeeTouch, replaces the key or combination code of yesteryear. Using an NFC-enabled device, users can access their luggage with ease, knowing their items are secure. (And don’t worry, it’s TSA approved!) Don’t have an NFC-enabled device? No problem! The lock can be used with a pre-paired NFC sticker or smart tag, as well.

o   The hereO is a GPS watchdesigned for children so parents can keep track of their location.

o   As consumers begin to rely on devices for all aspects of their lives (including finances, health, and other sensitive / personal data), safety and security will become increasingly important.

  • Technology, tailor-made.

o   Withings has introduced a more affordable smart watch called Activite Pop. Made of PVD-coated metal, the watch face comes in a variety of sleek colors and offers the following functionality: step tracking, sleep tracking, vibration alerts, and an eight-month battery life.

o   The increasing availability of affordable wearable devices will likely help lift adoption among various audiences, from teens to the elderly to children, making the market more scalable.