First, your feet and wrists, now they’re coming for your whole body. Wearables are the brave new wardrobe opening doors to unique brand communications. That’s the hoopla but not the revelation.
Wearables are only a small fraction of the story. We’ve gone from laptop to smartwatch to connected home, auto, city, and wired globe. Technology is so intimately woven into every facet of modern life it’s now a form of oxygen: we can’t function without it.
As tech becomes all-surrounding, the possibilities hit both breathtaking and scary. What happens when our bodies are the user interface and our environment the user experience? From social media to healthcare and automotive, from artificial intelligence to cyber security, the transformations serve up opportunity, along with more than a few questions.
Look at healthcare, where genome editing protocols, nanomaterials, artificial intelligence, and robotics are putting the emphasis on the “me” in medicine.
In automotive, we’re rapidly moving from horsepower to processor power. It’s not just the WIFI in the car and the satellite radio. There’s an array of self-driving cars in the works and soon algorithms will sync with city traffic patterns to smoothly guide us home to our smart house.
In fashion, wearables aren’t just accessories for reading your heart rate and core temp. They’re connecting us in intimate and unique ways to the Internet of Things, birthing what Gartner predicts will be a $19 billion market in less than three years.
Killer robots are a popular Hollywood trope. Instead, what if new smart technologies dialed up efficient healthcare management, optimized air traffic control, managed the electricity grid or provided more personalized shopping experiences? How do we design smart systems to maximize productivity while minimizing the fear? How smart is smart enough?
When devices on your body link to your smart car, home, supermarket, hospital and more, life has a million new stories and experiences to tell. We see the ape and the robot arm pointing to the fusion of man (and woman!) and technology. This fusion is disruptive and will spur follow-on fusions we never thought possible.
As we think about ways to create stories and narratives that bring us all to Wow 2.0, here are some of the questions that jump with implication.
1. What role do wearables play as a mile marker to world-size innovation?
2. How can purpose-built wearables create more intimate and integrated relationships with customers?
3. How will audiences shift in terms of their perception of style, influence and more?