Now that the Apple Watch is here, ready to be sold everywhere in the world, the trend topic is about smartwatches and wearable technology. According to recent researches, this new device is expected to take a large market share from other devices. Not in the future but right now. It is inevitable that wearable technology will change digital customer experience.
It is not accidental if the buzz about Apple Watch is even more pressing than the one about iPhone 6. Numbers speak for themselves: 50 million units of wearable technology are expected to be sold in 2014 alone, 180 million by 2018. The wearable market is growing even faster than the smartphone revolution (five-times faster, this is the incredible rate). Apple Watch, Google Glass, activity trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone UP and even the Oculus Rift, they're all leading characters of the wearable revolution. Devices that are already changing retail and the way companies plan and execute customer experience strategies.
The first example of widespread worn electronics was the calculator watch, back in the 80's, but today wearable technology is a generic category that includes different clothing and accessories incorporating computer and advanced technology. All packed with catching design (thus the name 'fashionable technology'). Every single device has its own influence on digital marketing and helps companies bridge the gap between in-store and online customer experiences.
Google Glass is an optical head-mounted display released in 2014. It allows users to communicate with the device and internet via natural language vocal commands. Once you wear it you won't even need your hands anymore. Google Glass is currently tested among a variety of industries, including medical, fashion and luxury, food and security. Main uses for business could be: digital showroom, product comparison, location based notifications and advertising.
Apple Watch, designed and produced by Apple, it finally implements customer experience-related features such as long awaited NFC technology, adding one more thing: Apple Pay. A new process, based on a 'secure element' included in these new devices (iWatch and iPhone 6) designed to improve customers' life and their purchase experience. Once customers have added card information to Passbook, Apple uses a dynamic code that allows to pay with one touch, thanks to link between the iPhone payment components and fingerprint reader. This could revolutionize banking and financial services, as makes purchases - both in-store and online - easy, fast and secure.
Activity trackers (i.e. armband or wristband) are devices that monitor and record fitness and health metrics like distance walked, calorie consumption, heartbeat and quality of sleep. They answer the need for self-tracking and can be used by companies for customer related marketing activities connected to Gamification and Right-time Personalization.
Companies are now able to collect a huge amount of data thanks to wearable technology. The use you will do of this data in your digital customer experience strategy is the most important decision for those of you who want to compete in the exciting arena of our Age of Customer.