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…
Are Smart Clothes the Real Future Of Wearable Tech?
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Millennial News Feed
Quote of the Day: “The combination of recommendations from friends and online reviews really helps me determine my purchases.” –Male, 31, IA
Last year, many (okay most) of the stories about the fast-food industry struggling to understand and attract young consumers focused on McDonald’s and their Millennial challenge. The generation has been accused of “killing” the fast food brand, thanks to their fresher food preferences. But according to Morgan Stanley, McDonald’s remains the most visited restaurant for the generation while Chipotle made 11th on the list. While some are saying this implies Millennials are reluctant to admit to how much they are visiting the chain, we would point out that McDonald’s first place position doesn’t make it their preference, and the chain’s enormous footprint compared to newer competitors is likely influencing the frequency of their visits. (Business Insider)
Young consumers’ nostalgia cycle is shorter than ever, and the desire to look back at recent memories with rose-tinted glassesis driving their tech and sharing behavior, leading to the popularity of apps like Timehop. Facebook’s new “On This Day” feature accommodates this trend, and competes with other popular platforms. The new tool will show users their own Facebook posts and photos from the same date in previous years, providing a feed of status updates, photos, and posts from the past that they can then (re)share. To ensure that only positive content is provided, an algorithm will filter out ex-lovers and avoid displaying memories of those who’ve passed away. (TechCrunch)
Chat apps are the new social media. For Millennials and teens around the world, messaging platforms like Kik, WhatsApp, and Line have become a vital part of communicating with friends, sharing the world around them, and constantly staying in the loop. They’re also becoming a big space for brands, and Disney can thank the Line network’s reach of 500 million users for making their game Tsum Tsum a major mobile hit. Tsum Tsum is a simple, cute-overload-looking puzzle game that has earned $300 million in revenue since last July, a feat Disney says it “couldn’t have done that without Line’s social network.” (GameIndustry.biz)
Starting this week, Millennial news site Mic is joining other digital publications like BuzzFeed and Vox and rolling out its own video series, “Flip the Script,” to provide socially conscious, catchy, and quick clips that expound on some articles on the site. Mic’s aim is “to be the most important brand in news for our generation,” targeting college educated readers around 28-years-old. The site is taking a different approach to ads in their new video content, selling sponsorships rather than including pre-rolls. We’ve warned brands that in the age of ad A.D.D digital marketing will need to evolve to adjust to young consumers' attention spans, and Mic’s approach is an indication of the new mentality. (Ad Age)
What happens when a homeless witch meets an amnesiac enchanted statue? The creators of the indie animated seriesThe Book of MOJO want us to find out. Alchemy Engine is a team of former DreamWorks and Pixar animators currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo to make The Book of MOJO pilot, which they hope will help push boundaries in animation by including more diverse characters. A teaser trailer for the show earned them kudos from viewers who were excited that the heroine is a person of color, and Alchemy Engine has declared they want to “tell stories featuring characters that ... are under-represented in animation.” (IndieGogo, HitFix)
Exactly how much are Millennials spending every day…and what are they buying? Our tracked data trends have all the stats on that, thanks to our monthly survey of 1000 13-32-year-old Millennials nationwide. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following average daily spend and items purchased, with spending broken out by age and gender. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)