Earlier this week I was invited by Marketing Week, one of the UK’s leading trade media titles for marketing professionals, to comment on the announcement by Google to take time to re-develop Google Glass, and what it means for marketers. This was something I couldn’t say no to, as the evolution of the mobile screen, and how wearables in particular will impact that, is an area of huge personal interest for me.
The market is still in its early stages, so by no means should this news be heralded as the death knell for wearables. Indeed, according to analyst predictions, this is a market that is poised to explode in the next few years with the introduction and adoption of connected cars, appliances, wearable technology, and more. With wearable device shipment volumes reaching 19 million units last year, that figure will grow to 111.9 million in 2018, according to IDC research.
However, some are commenting on how frustrating this must be for the brands that have created apps for Google Glass already. What will this decision mean for them?
While frustrating, yes, these brands will benefit from the challenge that has been set before them to think about other screens and how consumers want to engage with those screens. The app ecosystem, with mobile at its core, is only going to be more prevalent as the ‘Internet of Things’ becomes a reality. Those brands that are already considering new screens and interfaces, even perhaps if some of them like Google Glass don’t quite make it to the market, will push themselves to innovate and connect with consumers in smart new ways.
In Marketing Week’s article itself, I was quoted as saying, “Google Glass was never meant to be a complete consumer proposition. Instead, it is an amazingly high profile example of a test and learn strategy.”
Indeed, from my perspective, it’s the arrival of Apple’s Watch in a few months that will really begin to grow that space, and the consequent opportunities for marketers. The one thing we can be sure of is that it is consumers who will decide how they want to use wearable tech and engage with brands through those devices. Marketers seeking to get ahead need to use the data available to them to analyse how consumers engage as they move across screens, media and moments.
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Millennial Media is the leading mobile ad marketplace, making mobile simple for the world’s top brands, app developers, and mobile web publishers. The company's data and technology assets enable advertisers to connect with target audiences at scale, while driving monetization for publisher and developer partners. AOL acquired Millennial Media on October 23, 2015. Millennial Media boosts AOL's global, mobile capabilities and scale across ONE by AOL for advertisers and agencies, and offers the most attractive monetization platform for app developers.