As if there weren’t enough trend predictions for 2014, here’s one more for you: wearable technology. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to well…anyone, especially if you follow tech news or attended CES. Brands and marketers are already keeping a close eye on fitness bands, watches, glasses and the additional opportunities these devices offer when it comes to online video marketing.
In 2014, Deloitte predicts that 10 million of these devices will be sold for a total of $3 billion. Non-wearable connected devices are predicted to generate $750 billion, which means that more people will be constantly connected to devices with streaming capabilities. Obviously, more ways to watch equals more watching, but wearable device online video viewing won’t depend solely on providing users with entertainment value. Branded video content will have the opportunity to educate and inform in order to immediately affect purchase decisions.
Think product demos, customer testimonials and how-tos. Imagine your customers heading into their local hardware store searching for tools they need for a home-improvement project. Using their smart watch or glasses, they can visit product sites and watch product demos to determine if your tool meets their needs, customer testimonials to solidify their purchase decision and related how-tos to help with their individualized project. Brands will be able to play a much larger role in-store where the customer is actively seeking to make a purchase.
If customers are still in an early stage of the purchase funnel, while shopping around they will be able to conveniently view corporate videos and perhaps video ads in order to get a feel for your brand’s personality. Huge opportunities will be available to brands and marketers that cater to wearable technology users.
The continuity wearable technology provides will benefit not only the user, but brands as well. Tiny screens constantly in the line-of-sight will complement the screens we already use, allowing consumers direct access to brands at all times and vice-versa.
Deloitte expects smart glasses to generate the most revenue with sales of around four million units. Google Glass already launched an Explorer Program for a select group of consumers to try out the product. Samsung isn’t far behind and is reported to be launching Galaxy Glass this September during the IFA trade show in Berlin—the company introduced the Galaxy Gear smartwatch at last year’s IFA.
Consumer applications will no doubt fuel initial usage but as product specification improves, enterprise usage should become more prevalent. I’m sure as wearable technology becomes mainstream, the benefits for brands will exceed early expectations. As cliché as its sounds, all we can do is wait and see how brands and marketers will use online video to seamlessly integrate themselves into consumers’ lives.