Digital. Inbound. SoCial. Tech.
This post is a part of my “30 days, 30 articles” series with a focus on Digital Marketing in the Middle East. Follow #30days30articles and #KodeMarketingBlog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep up!
Its 2017 and wearable tech is all the rage. As many implore why and if they would allow more technology into and onto their lives, there is a vast spectrum of users ready to save time, improve efficiency and enrich experiences of daily life using these digital devices. So brew yourself a coffee, and enjoy some new and improved avenues of wearables to look out for.
Predictably in the first spot- while it still may be early to call an Apple Watch 2 or a Samsung Gear 2 our go-to timepiece, there is a lot of good stuff in there to grab one next time you’re in for a gadget splurge. Enhanced battery life and water resistance and the beautiful design upgrades are a sure winner like the display styles on the Samsung Gear 2 and the Hermes strap on the Apple Watch 2. From a content perspective, a lot of the popular apps have adapted pretty well to the “new screen” but lesser known apps still have a long way to conquering this fort. Lastly, the pricing may seem steep in terms of the Apple Watch 2, but then- Apple, right?
No Surprises here either. For a lot of us simple goals like getting enough sleep, water and steps in our day seem like enormous investments of attention and terribly unstructured to plan well. Enter fitness tracking from Fitbit, Jawbone, and XiaoMi. With a tap on your wrist they remind you to move every 20 minutes, do a breathing exercise to manage stress, and display stats like resting heart rate, sleep hours and activity. While there are more advanced trackers available like Atlas and Garmin these sometime become too cumbersome to wear all through your day and quite bulky. The best part is the mobile app based resource in the form of tips, achievement stages and a community of peers to keep you going with detailed data of “every breath you take, every move you make..” to help analyse your fitness regime’s gaps and impacts.
Looking to get some legit performance enhancement- go with Under Armour. The upgrade 3.0 of their Gemini smart shoe range in the form of the Velocity and Europa models is now available. These bad boys track speed, miles and activity time and even include a recovery function to let you know if your body is good for a run, or if you need to take a break.
You probably don’t need Rocky Balboa to explain that life hits hard. Stress is an integral part of any productive life, and managing it an integral part of a successful one. The team at Thync has created products that can be strapped to the head and neck to induce electrical pulses or vibes for energizing or calming the brain in a comfortable, safe and research proven-positive way.
Ultra Connected Homes
Admit it, operating your electrical appliances remotely sounds kickass all by itself, but the energy conservation and safety implications are a whole new level of rewards. Hive provides appliances, plugs and sensors that help you operate your home, monitor the devices and minimize power wastage by remote managing things like apartment heating and hot water. So next time you’re packing things at the end of a work day, just heat the apartment for 30minutes before you reach instead of wasting money via an all day heated (and empty) apartment. Thank you, British Gas for innovating.
Gadgets for when you get too lazy to even call in Pizza, need a cab, need a search engine, operate smart devices in your home and play music.. while the list is just getting started, Amazon’s Alexa range and now the Google Home Assistant are insanely good at what they do. They listen for a request that you would otherwise need you to actively engage with a screen, and fulfil it with near perfect conversation. While the older player Amazon has better feature sets (for now) Google has its search engine and conversational ease, making this the next level tech your home needs.
Ever wonder if using Google Maps, or Siri could get even more simplified then reading through a screen? Enter the new horizon for interactive tech, earbuds. 2017 will see Doppler Labs’ HereOnes change the game with ambient computing inputs being whispered right into our ears. Better integrated computing too I would say, though I'm sold on the smart jacket with it.
Virtual Reality (VR)
While much of the conversation seems to be around the Sony Playstation VR and Oculus in the gaming application, more and more content is coming to the enhanced experience of VR headsets. Outlandish worlds to explore while you listen to music, beautifully rendered travel destinations that help plan your next vacation and amazing recreations of your favourite location in Westeros (Game of Thrones), VR has spread from training and simulation workshops to the television, the smartphone and the gaming consoles - and it is truly feeling at home.
Another childhood fantasy of playing Batman or Robocop may come alive when you see this; Google’s Project Jacquard and Levi’s are set to launch connected denim jackets that sync with wireless headphones and let you get directions, operate your music player, and accept calls right off a smart patch on your sleeve! This is made possible through conductive yarn, standard fabric interwoven with discreet metallic alloys leading to custom areas of a clothing/furniture surface being programmed for touch sensitivity. Maybe they can weave the remote into armchairs and we’ll never lose the remote again! You’re welcome, Google.
Funky, cool and a tough to acquire accessory, Spectacles by Snapchat bring real next level action to Snapchat Snaps and Stories with super smooth syncing and brilliant quality of audio visuals. Also, there is almost no “learning” involved to get used to them- the process is straightforward and similar to how you would snap a story using your phone. The cons are that as of now geo-filters and android syncing isn’t available. Your move, Google Glass.