It has become one of the most frequently used phrases when talking about millennials and wider consumer groups in recent months ‘the smartphone has become an extension of the them’ or ‘they never leave the house without them.’ There have even been radical claims by younger cohorts who would rather ‘lose their sense of smell, than live without their smartphone’.
Well, post-Christmas, it appears a large chunk of us have in fact attached a smartphone to our bodies, well to our wrists anyway.
Wearable Tech, in the form of fitness trackers and smart watches were indeed one of the most popular adult presents over the festive period. These wearable devices connect to your smartphones and measure; how many steps you take, your heart rate, calories burnt, sleep patterns – but many of these devises also alert you to phone calls, messages and notifications. We have essentially attached our smartphones to us.
While some users will use these wearable devices to enhance their health and fitness only, it is apparent that the lines between smartphones and wearable tech are becoming blurred. With reams of data being generated from these devices, we are already seeing other industries capitalising on this data and personal information. Legal and law enforcement sectors are already benefiting from this data and several controversial court cases have already used fitbit and Amazon Alexa home gadget data as evidence in court rooms in the US to prove people’s whereabouts and state of mind and body. This opens up a whole new debate and discussion around data protection and privacy versus security.
With this in mind, we can’t help but think about what opportunities and indeed challenges these devices are going to bring to media and advertising. In theory we will have access to consumers 24/7, and we will also theoretically know not only their whereabouts, their heart rate, how many steps they have taken, how many hours sleep they have had……..scary or exciting? We’ll let you decide!