According to Gartner, wearable fitness units including wristbands, watches, smart garments and chest straps will reach over 91 million units in 2016. Improving and innovating the technology has fueled the steady year over year growth rate. The introduction of the Apple Watch adds a level of legitimacy that will continue to push developers to enrich and evolve the experience. Competitor brands will continue to build value and functionality into their product lines. Integration into social media, gamification, reward systems, and habit forming features will continue to grow. New distribution channels are emerging that will drive the price down or even subsidize the cost entirely through brand engagement campaigns, education, pets, health monitoring, and others.
In addition to fitness wearables, other categories from glasses to almost any sensor based field use case are seeing innovation and growth. Google Glass had it’s own level of controversy around privacy but it did inspire the wearable category to think about an improved consumer experience and interesting but data driven ways to interact with the world around them.
Our wardrobes will soon become smart wardrobes that pass data to and from our devices, cars, store shelves, healthcare providers, employers, and family. The ability to automate and steer our lives through wearable technology is just beginning. The innovation and ideation is just warming up. The innovation track will be driven by amazing creativity and force advertisers into lively discussions around how the data and use cases can be best utilized for consumer reach. Be sure to measure your steps during Advertising Week.