Is Technology Advertising Ready for ‘Who Are You Wearing?’

By Shawn Paul Wood 


We have heard it coming for years: Wearable technology is going to be a hot trend. The fact that it’s now here is no surprise, but what may be are the gaggle of advertisers ready to pounce, according to Businessweek

From watches that engage with your phone to glasses that help you get your NSA on, wearable technology has been discussed for years. The masterminds behind these new toys have been working to perfect it. Now that they’ve developed a few decent products worth shilling, advertising is ready to focus on what this story calls “the new frontier.”


To boldly go, indeed.

The piece focuses on InMobi Pte, which has a team of “developers creating virtual mock-ups of ads on smartwatches, head-mounted displays and other gadgets to get a feel for how they can serve as a platform for marketers.” Of course, the trendsetters of Apple and Google are always interested in boarding the Enterprise.

“Any device with a screen allows for an interesting opportunity,” said Atul Satija, vice president and head of revenue and operations at inMobi.

Those opportunities are much more than interesting; they are profitable. Shipments of wearables are projected to reach almost 112 million units in 2018, up from less than 20 million this year, according to IDC.

“Obviously, advertisers are already experimenting,” Bryan Yeager, an analyst at EMarketer Inc., said. “If we continue to see that positive growth and upward trajectory, then I think that advertising will follow.”

Will it?

There have been several reports about privacy concerns with wearable technology, as well as security risks. From Fitbit to Jawbone to Google Glass, there are several products on the market already that can monitor heart rate, caloric intake, and even sleep patterns. Now, let’s say your bluetooth isn’t encrypted. All it takes is one ne’er-do-well in Starbucks to hack into that wearable.

The biggest lie people commit on a daily basis, next to spouses answering “Does this make me look fat” with a negative, is clicking “yes” on Do you accept the terms and conditions? Nobody reads those, and that’s how a few wearable brands escape liability. Terms are always buried in vague, wordy, and legalese vernacular that shares how devices manage, store, and protect user data (or don’t).

While this new technology is fun to wear, what brand wants to be associated with such a security risk? Sure, they are cool to discuss at parties, but how many parties do you think the client will pay for if hacking continues to be a problem?

What have you heard around your agency water cooler? The comments are on.