Over a third of the smartphone owners favour wearables which make life easier, says Mindshare SHIFT 2015 study

Fitness tracking and faster payments are consumers’ most important wearable technology application according to research from media agency Mindshare and Goldsmiths, University of London.

The ‘SHIFT 2015’ study, unveiled today (Thursday 14 May) at IAB Mobile Engage 2015, analysed the reasons why consumers would buy into the wearable trend – and the opportunities this presents brands and advertisers.

‘Flow’ or making life easier was the main reason for adopting wearables according to 36 per cent of smartphone users. 38 per cent wanted to use them to regulate home lighting or heating, 31 per cent were interested in the use of wearables to order goods in advance to save queuing and 29 per cent wanted to use the tech to open car doors.

‘Reflection’, or using wearables to identify ways to improve life physically or emotionally came second – important to 35 per cent of respondents. Fitness trackers have improved the lives of over three quarters of current users, with a further half of smartphone users interested in the prospect of wearables measuring and analysing sleep patterns.

Mindshare UK research director Jeremy Pounder said: “The marketing world was slow to appreciate the significance of the shift from desktop to mobile. We don’t want to make the same mistake with the rise of wearables and the internet of things.

“As wearables start to connect individuals physically to the web, our research shows there will be huge communications opportunities for brands in terms of new, more personalised advertising models, brand utility and brand experiences fuelled by wearables. Now is the time for experimentation and we’re already applying these insights for our clients’ communications this summer.”

Dr Chris Brauer, of the Institute of Management Studies (IMS) at Goldsmiths, University of London, added: “It is clear that wearables can play a key role augmenting our humanity in a more natural and integrated way than the current generation of mobile technologies.

"It is about the emerging power of these small connected devices on the body but it is also about the shifting impact wearables have on a connected self and world forming and shaping both interpersonal and intrapersonal connectivity, for example, by correlating your moods and your productivity levels.”

Shift also identified five key opportunities for brands and advertisers:

Push notifications – opted in advertiser alerts delivered to the wearable based on context.

Search ads – paid search ads delivered to the wearable after a voice search command.

Brand utility – services created for the consumer that are operated on the wearable.

Brand experience – real world experiences powered by wearables .

And content personalisation – delivery of personalised content on other platforms based on wearables data.

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John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

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