We all love a little competition. Pairing fitness with wearable technology, FitBit inspires an active lifestyle by tracking the number of steps one takes daily, encouraging users to meet their personal fitness goals. These accomplishments are rewarded within the mobile app, instilling motivation to maintain one’s health and well being. According to its website, FitBit has inspired users to take 43% more steps. Wow, that’s a lot of calories burned!
But FitBit specializes in more than just footsteps. The wearable device also tracks sleep cycles, counts calories and allows you to foster a little friendly competition with your friends through leaderboards.
In just eight years, FitBit has taken huge strides, debuting on the global stage last week with its IPO surging to 20% in its second day of trading.
FitBit has paved the way for wearable technology, taking its traditional black band up a notch by offering more fashionable options with partner Tory Burch.
Photo courtesy of FitBit’s website.
Now, that’s something I would wear. FitBit targets a niche audience of active people, namely females; 54% of activity tracker ownership is by women. Men, on the other hand, would rather wear a smart watch.
However, ownership of either device is relatively low amongst the general population, with 11% owning activity trackers and 3% owning smart watches. So, is FitBit still in its honeymoon phase?
According to one study, nearly a third of activity tracker owners stop using these devices within six months. How can FitBit (and other wearables) retain users and continue to fulfill their needs?
First and foremost comes fashion. Users are not going to don a device that is too futuristic or tacky. Wearables must serve a dual-purpose in providing both service and style. Secondly, the device must have a clear function, fulfilling a need that the user didn’t previously know he or she had.
For example, everyone talks about trying to reduce cell phone use, especially during dinner. A year ago, Ringly, a smart jewelry company, introduced an elegant ring that notifies you when you have notifications, whether it be an email, a text or an upcoming meeting. Problem solved!
Photo from Ringly website.
It will take fashion-forward thinkers along with innovative engineers to continue to fuel the growing market for wearable technology. With $745 billion invested in the industry in California alone, the opportunities are endless. What new brands will emerge to compete with the FitBit and Apple’s Smartwatch in the domain of wearable technology? Time will tell (pun intended).
The business section of Sunday’s Washington Post speculated that corporate curation is becoming a popular marketing campaign for many brands. The article, which had appeared on newspaper’s website six days prior, asserted that companies (particularly fashion and luxury brands) are assembling their own collection of Internet snippets. These “advertorials” combine the affable voice of web editorials with the appeal of stylish ad campaigns.
The Post sited Louis Vuitton’s Nowness and the Harley Davidson Ridebook as two buzz-worthy examples of corporate curation. Here are a few other brands that are dabbling in advertorials and unorthodox content development.
What do you think of these editorial/advertising hybrids? If brands are open about the information they’re curating, can they become key influencers? Please leave comments below.
Free People – The whimsical design and joie de vivre photos echo the spirit of fun fashion bloggers— both stylish and accessible.
Cleanest Line – Patagonia’s blog reads like an adventurist’s journal with a bit of environmental activism sprinkled in the mix.
The IKEA Blog – With quirky comics, product demonstrations and even clips of “Futurama,” the furniture superstore curates creative and eclectic content.
Open Forum – American Express eschews the typical self-promotion of other credit card companies by including timely business news stories and tips.
Secret Life of a Benefit Gal – While this makeup brand spotlights its products, the down-to-earth demonstrators and nifty tricks are reader-friendly.
— Nicole Duncan
Are those flexible arrays of colored light-emitting
diodes in your pants, or are you just happy to see me? This question, along with it’s ambiguous answer will soon be commonplace thanks to the folks at Philips. Their new Lumalive textiles make it possible to create fabrics that carry
dynamic advertisements, graphics and constantly changing color
surfaces. According to this press release, Philips spent most of last year developing the technology so that it would be fully integrated into the fabric – without
compromising the softness or flexibility of the cloth.
The application of the technology is endless, with changing colors reflecting the wearer’s mood, to dynamic messages promoting an upcoming event. Lumalive isn’t limited to just clothing either; Philips put the technology in drapes, cushions, and sofa coverings as well.
So the next time someone mentions that you’re a walking advertisement, you can glance down at the Murphy’s Oil Soap commercial airing on your chest and know what they’re talking about.