From fitness trackers to smart watches, the trend in gear is tracking and customization. Once a status symbol for fitness-focused folks and tech geeks, wearable tech has become ubiquitous, as has the underlying concept of using passively tracked information for personal benefit.
Delivering everything from increasingly sophisticated collision detection in cars to performance-enhancing data in smart fabrics in athletic apparel, sensors are ubiquitous on the CES showroom floor this year.
PHD Worldwide CEO Mike Cooper stopped by the Omnicom Media Group party at Hyde Bellagio in Las Vegas the night before the start of the Consumer Electronics Show. He shared his thoughts on what he's looking out for at the mega-conference.
A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 33 percent of consumers who purchased a wearable item in the past year either do not use them any more or use them infrequently.
Can Google Glass help cross cultural boundaries and even save lives? It can in "Captions," a 4-minute short film promoting a translation app currently in development. Writer, director and editor Joe Sill of digital studio Everdream Pictures describes the cinematic clip as a "branded content spec ad," much like the team's earlier, unofficial Tesla spot, "Modern Spaceship," whose admirers included even Tesla CEO Elon Musk. And sure enough, the new video has also gotten some top-level corporate love, with the official Google Glass page giving it a share on Facebook. Sam Morrill, senior curator at Vimeo, also left a comment on the clip: "Interesting film. Really sharp look." "Captions" focuses on a Glass translation app that helps a photographer in the Mexican desert communicate with a boy who's been bitten by a snake. The mood and approach couldn't be more different than "Modern Spaceship's" effects-fueled flight of fancy. Washed-out, steamy visuals—shot on location at an orphanage in Mexico's San Antonio de las Minas—and naturalistic performances give "Captions" a gritty, documentary vibe. The slow-burn melodrama is engaging but restrained, and the low-key ending is handled just right. Ultimately, the film doesn't oversell its message. It serves as a credible product demo, and a thoughtful meditation on how cutting-edge technology can help people bridge gaps, gain greater understanding and get closer in the offline world.
If people could literally see how much more relaxing British Airways' new in-flight perks really are, then everyone would obviously understand how much better the company is than its competitors, says British Airways.
Every marketer in the world dreams of creating something useful, accomplishing a noble goal and scoring huge results. Here's a project that nailed all three. Y&R Moscow recently partnered with Azerbaijani cellular network Nar Mobile to create a wearable device called Donor Cable, which lets one smartphone owner easily donate power to another. Worn as a bracelet, the charging device is clever enough, but it's also inscribed with the message, "Donate energy to save a phone, and donate blood to save a life." Why encourage blood donation specifically? As you can see in the case study below, Azerbaijan has the world's highest number of children born with the blood disorder thalassemia, a hereditary disease primarily found among Mediterranean cultures. The illness requires extensive blood transfusions for babies, and hospitals often lack the needed amount of donated blood. The Donor Cable bracelets were given away with Android smartphone purchases at Nar stores around the country, and mobile blood donation centers were parked nearby to catch phone buyers while the issue was on their mind. The campaign increased the nation's blood donation rate an astounding 335 percent, earning widespread attention and goodwill along the way. UPDATE: As reader Timos Polychroniadis notes in the comments below and on his blog, this campaign is rather similar to (and even shares a name with) an earlier effort by Brazilian shop Leo Burnett Tailor Made. We've added that case study at the bottom of this post.
When JWT Singapore was tapped by the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) to create an educational campaign about date rape, the agency decided to go in a different direction. The result was Guardian Angel, a personal safety accessory line that looks like jewelry but is also designed to get women out of dangerous situations.
Wearable devices are giving SXSW Interactive veterans something new to talk about this year—thankfully.