Smartwatches just got really smart
Google, who owns the Android platform, unveiled an incredibly alluring Android Wear operating system for wearable technologies. Despite Google already being hard at work on Google Glass, it believes the next big thing will be the smartwatch. It just has to do it right.
So, in steps Android Wear and two brand new smartwatches. One from LG, and one from Motorola.
LG has history with working with Google in developing the affordable and yet incredibly good Google Nexus line of Android phones. Motorola was, until recently, owned by Google and it’s telling that this latest Motorola device has clearly been influenced by Google’s design ethos.
But, while I could gush about excellent design and the wonders of Google’s plan for smartwatches, the real secret is Android Wear. And it’s a piece of technology that you, as marketers and customer loyalty professionals, should already be thinking about how you can get ahead of the competition by making the first move.
In the concept video above we get an idea of what Android Wear can do and the ‘glanceable’ design idea behind the entire technology. It’s voice activated, swipeable, clear, and simple. You want to know where something is, just talk to the watch and you’ll get the answer. Want to keep track of your well being? Then a fitness panel can tell you. It’s a step back from the space of apps, and into the the space of usefulness.
So how can you make the most of this opportunity?
It may not seem obvious at first, but it’s as simple as keeping your brand in mind. The device is linked to a user’s phone, with emails and messages being pushed to Android Wear if a user specifies what they want to see. It’s nothing revolutionary in that sense, but it does also mean that many people using smartwatches will see and dismiss promotional emails. Few people want to be advertised to on the go. That means it could be time to optimise mailing times and sort out formatting of mail so it displays properly on the smaller screen. Make use of images more as text isn’t as glanceable and doesn’t work so well on something the size of a large coin.
If you own a store, it’d make sense to make use of Google Maps’ business tracking technology to inform people nearby about your outlet. Google Now does push this information to Android phones at times, but it’s unlikely people really pay attention to it. However, if that information was on their wrist, at a glance, it’s far more likely they’ll pay attention.
Heck, it even makes making payments easier, so it might be time to roll out iBeacons, PayPal/Google Wallet terminals, and QR code scanners for digital coupons.
Or, perhaps I’m really reading far too much into this because – for once – a piece of wearable tech has been shown that doesn’t look gimmicky or tacky. It’s worth watching the developer preview of the Motorola 360 and Android Wear in action to get a better idea of what it’s functions are too.
Would you pick up an Android Wear-powered watch?
Maybe not, but we’re certain your customers will start to soon.