September 25, 2013

How will wearable technology transform mobile advertising?

Written By Martin Sandhu

The buzz surrounding Google Glass seems to be non-stop of late, with the lucky few techies having received theirs and businesses and developers alike dreaming up ways to utilise the technology in order to maximise business and profit.

Whilst Google has said that it doesn’t have any current plans to add advertising to its latest product (it’s likely to take years for them to build up enough of an audience to warrant this), the likelihood of this occurring at some point is pretty high. And a recent patent granted for ‘pay-per-gaze’ technology would certainly cement that theory.

The implications are pretty huge though and it would take online and mobile advertising to a whole new level. As the name suggests pay-per-gaze would offer a similar concept to pay-per-click or pay-per-engagement advertising, where companies would be charged based on how long a user looks at an advert for. Not only that, but the patent actually details how a device like Google Glass could work out a user’s emotional response to an ad – whether they were happy, sad or indifferent – based on the their pupils and then adjust the price of the advert accordingly. This would also give advertisers a much deeper level of feedback than ever before.

When Google Glass is worn out and about, augmented reality could come into play for advertisements. Should a user look at the sign for a restaurant or start to head into a clothes store, Glass could show users adverts and information relevant to their current activity. For example showing them today’s specials menu or offering a discount which will expire within a short time-frame.

This depth of advertising is becoming a reality beyond Google Glass. As wearable technology becomes more commonplace, advertising can be targeted better than ever before. Popular fitness devices such as Nike Fuelband and the Jawbone Up send a users data to the cloud. This data is priceless to advertisers, imagine a protein shake company being able to target an advert to someone directly after their nightly run or an energy drink being advertised to someone whose Jawbone data suggests they’re not sleeping well? The information wearable data provides is truly the golden ticket for advertisers.

Whilst none of this is yet a reality it will soon be, and will have a huge impact for businesses who want to move their advertising to the next level.