Are Smart Clothes the Real Future Of Wearable Tech?


2014 was supposed to be “the year of wearable tech,” but four months in, it seems clear that it’s going to take some time for wearables to go mainstream. The majority of attention is being paid to smartbands and smartwatches, and new entries to the market keep coming. Google has announced their expansion outside of Glass with smartwatch Android Wear, Nissan has unveiled a watch concept that would pair wearable tech with the car industry, Disney has made headlines with their new smartbands for guests, even Will.i.am is developing a smartwatch. The competition to be the star of tech that lives on our wrists is intense, but so far it is unclear whether consumers—even tech-hungry Millennials— are going to embrace these innovations. Research suggests that one-third of those who have purchased wearable tech abandoned their devices after just six months of use, causing some to wonder if the “next big thing” in tech is a harder sell than brands previously suspected. One of the big issues of wristband and Glass technology is that currently it is very noticeable and not necessarily stylish. We wrote that wearable tech would have to be either beautiful or undetectable to be embraced by a broader audience than the techie crowd, and the makers of these devices are heeding the warning, with Google partnering with glasses-maker Luxxotica for more fashionable Glass frames, and Intel working with Opening Ceremony and Barneys New York to create a wristband that actually looks cool. 

So what will the future of wearable tech actually look like? The answer may lie in the items that we already wear everyday. Smart clothes have the advantage of being less detectable and potentially more fashion-forward than current wearable tech items. The category also has the potential to be more naturally integrated…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “In the future, I'd like to pay off my student loans and not starve or get evicted. A stable job would be nice.” –Male, 26, PA

With any large-scale marketing campaign, especially those that encourage consumer participation, brands must prepare for their message to be hijacked. Coke’s #ShareaCoke promotion has gotten the royal hack treatment from Millennials online who are making fun of the names found listed on the bottles (or those that are left out) and filling in their own to create new comic pairings that relate to other memes. (Adweek)

Not all viral sensations make sense at first. Take relatively unknown British teen Tish and the Vine she posted recently. In it, Tish sits in her mom’s car pretending to drive, says “broom broom,” and cuts to her mom’s high pitched voice saying, “Get out me car!” Sounds simple and not all that overwhelming, but since it was posted, the Vine has gone viral, been remixed by fans, and has earned its own #TeamTish hashtag. Tish’s viral potential could be due her monotone voice, silly catch phrase, or quirky mom, but either way, her videos have given teens online someone to root for. (BuzzFeed)

Live-stream gaming service Twitch has grown from 3.2 million users to 50 million users in three years time and its earnings potential has caught the eye of Google, who plans to purchase Twitch and integrate it into YouTube. Watching how others play and strategize “is like catnip” for serious gamers and Twitch makes it easy for gamers to live-stream what they’re playing for audiences to watch, regardless of what console they’re using. (MediaPost)

You may not be the biggest fan of “listicle” editorials pieces, but BuzzFeed, whose traffic is 50% on mobile and 75% referred from social media, makes a strong case for why lists and other themes are important in brand writing for Millennials. Branded quizzes on BuzzFeed have a 96% completion rate, and both lists and quizzes signal to busy readers that there is “finiteness to what they’re getting.” They are also discovering something new about themselves through quizzes, feeding into their Numbers Game desire to use data for self-discovery. (The Drum)

100 fans will earn a seat at The Giver premier in close proximity to the movie’s biggest stars, but this competition isn’t about luck. The Giver Movie Premiere for Good contest is using online activism as its backbone, asking fans to launch fundraising campaigns on Crowdrise and raise money in order to secure their spot. So far around $6,000 has been raised from the more than 400 campaigns with the money going to charities benefitting the arts. (Mashable)

Quote of the Day: “My dream for the future is complete financial independence from parents and any others, and a very satisfying career that I enjoy (a high salary would be a plus, but not essential).” –Male, 25, PA

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