Wearable gadgets are among 2017’s biggest tech bloomers, and the data stream from sports is only going to get bigger and bigger. When it comes to wearables (and the Internet of Things in general), data is the key metric to monetization, so if you’re looking to expand the reach of your marketing to include proprietary wearable apps, the burgeoning branch of sports wearables is worth keeping an eye on.
Fitbits, Apple Watches, and other wearables have become an ever-present sight at many sports events, and many sports leagues use them to track vital player statistics. In April of last year, MLB approved the use of two wearables, a Motus Global compression sleeve able to track the workload of a pitcher’s arm and a heart-monitoring strap designed by Zephyr. The NFL also expanded its use of the Zebra RFID player tracking system to all of the 33 stadiums used throughout the 2016 season.
This is not simply a North American trend, as sports wearables are becoming a global phenomenon. MounirZok, the director of technology and innovation at the U.S. Olympic Committee, suggests that wearable tech was a key component of Team USA’s success at last summer’s Olympics. Tracking athlete performance in their natural environment helped lead to the U.S. winning 121 medals at Rio 2016 — 18 more than at London 2012 when wearable tech was only in its infancy.
Building on the features included in the SpeedForm Gemini 2 RE smart running shoe, Under Armour plans to offer three different shoe designs to cater for different running styles. In addition, each shoe can now measure muscular fatigue to help athletes recover between sessions. They have already announced their new collection of connected athletic shoes with the UA SpeedForm Gemini 3 RE, as well as the Velociti RE, and the Europa RE all set to help runners track every step over every mile.
If your company is looking to capitalize on wearable tech, the path to monetization is complex and highly sophisticated, which is why you’ll want to find the right one of Canada’s top app development companies to help you get the edge on your competition. Smartwatch screens, for example, are very small, and many wearables don’t have screens at all, making serving traditional ads on the devices impossible. Even if you could, interaction time with wearables tends to be quite short.
According to the experts at Toronto app development firm Clearbridge Mobile, interaction with wearables should be kept to a minimum. Integration with watch apps, for example should take no more than ten seconds, and that’s a generous approximation. Users should be done with theirApple Watch app in two to four taps.
This poses a unique challenge: how are marketers going to take advantage of this data in less than 10 seconds with little to no screen time? For now, according to Clearbridge, wearables are ostensibly tied to a mobile app. With the right mobile app developer, companies can serve subscription offers, upgrades, rewards, and more. If a fitness band user started running more than three times a week, marketers could provide an offer to subscribe to the premium app. Simple milestones, like steps taken or calories burned, can be used to gamify or reward user interaction across any sports wearable platform, which can be directly tied to your company’s products or services. If the recent plays by the MLB, Under Armour, the Olympic Games, and others are any indication, almost anything a device can track is data, and that data can be used for precisely tailored marketing through proprietary mobile apps.