Notes of Media Transformation – News from Your Wrist with Wearables
The "quantified self" movement picked up pace in 2014. More and more consumers are getting interested in measuring and monitoring themselves and their daily lives via a range of smart connected devices and wearable computing. Various smart devices were also among the hit gifts this Christmas. The movement has become big business "“ and wearables a real buzzword.
The rise of wearables
In 2015, the wearables category is expected to speed up even more, with a boost from new launches and the spreading hype. Several products are already on the market, even if we forget the straightforward fitness-trackers such as Jawbone and Fitbit.
Here are a few examples:
- Apple’s much-hyped Apple Watch is expected to be launched in early 2015.
- Google originally announced its smart eyewear Glass back in 2012 but it is still in beta. However, this year Google is expected to release Google Glass 2 ““ with much anticipation in the market.
- Samsung and AT&T launched Samsung Gear S in October.
- Microsoft launched its first wearable product, Microsoft Band, in October.
What’s in it for media?
Up until now, wearable gadgets have focused mainly on fitness and health. However, more diverse gadgets are conquering the market, allowing content producers’ experiments. And experiments are needed, as consumer behavior is bound to change when wider audiences adopt the new devices. As people get accustomed to looking at all kinds of content on small devices wrapped on their bodies, it will have an impact on the way we consume media.
A few media owners have already entered the market with their product. For instance:
- Financial Times launched fastFT app on Samsung Gear S smartwatch in August. As the name implies, the idea is to deliver information fast. FT has also figured that on a wearable it gets it news delivered in all possible situations.
- In Finland, the afternoon paper Ilta-Sanomat brought its news into Samsung smartwatches in October. According to Samsung, consumers were already waiting for local content.
- The Guardian experimented with Google Glass with its Glassware app in June, stating grandly that wearable technology is here to stay.
- SÃ¼ddeutsche Zeitung launched its first smartwatch app on Samsung Gear S in December, offering breaking news with a new reading technology.
Without a doubt, there are more to come in the coming months. So, just as publishers have started to think mobile-first, should they move fast forward and jump into the wearable revolution. When will it be wearables-first?
By Pirjo Viinamäki