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 into…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I accept friend requests on social media from people I don’t know or have mutual friends with to broaden my horizons; meet people I otherwise wouldn't in day-to-day life.”—Male, 23, MN

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Mobile wallets have become one of the main channels that Millennials would prefer that brands send them sales and offers on. Along with email, websites, and apps, mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay have become logical platforms for brands to use to send out marketing messaging to young consumers. Campaigns like loyalty programs, push messaging, and digital coupons can all be held on mobile wallet platforms. Over half of consumers say they have used mobile wallets and 30% say they have used them in the past week. (MediaPost

AT&T Hello Lab and Rooster Teeth are looking for the next big competitive gaming star. The digital series Schooled will be following the digital media company’s co-founder as he puts together a team of 8-12-year-old gamers to take on his experienced staff in a “winner-take-all finale.” Rooster Teeth, best known for “web classic” Red Vs. Blue and the Let’s Play franchise, hopes to be “the next big gaming sensation” with young players, and introduce their brand to a younger audience. (StreamDaily

According to an Adobe survey, over half of Millennials say that email is their preferred option to be contacted by a brand—so what’s the best way to use it? Thinking mobile is a good start. The same study found that 88% of Millennials are using smartphone to check their emails, so marketers need to find the best strategy to “optimize their content and campaigns for mobile devices to effectively convey their messages.” Including social media links to continue the conversation and going image heavy is also crucial. (Huffington Post

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