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Strap, Wearable Technology and the Future of Marketing.

Steve Caldwell’s wife bought him a Peb­ble smart­watch for Christ­mas in 2013. “Being a geek at heart, I start­ed writ­ing apps for it,” he said, which led to “think­ing through things like app mon­e­ti­za­tion for wear­able devel­op­ers and ad net­works for wear­ables.” Months after that fate­ful day, he and his mobile soft­ware-devel­op­ment part­ners had formed Strap and were accept­ed into Cincin­nati’s mar­ket­ing-focused accel­er­a­tor The Bran­dery. By late last year, they’d attract­ed $1.25 mil­lion in ven­ture fund­ing. In August, Mon­delez, one of the world’s largest snack com­pa­ny pub­licly award­ed Strap a pilot with Tri­dent gum and the Kum & Go con­ve­nience store chain, which expects the result to be run­ning in the chain’s app with­in 30 days.

iOs8 (jobs in IOS) launched HealthK­it, an iPhone app that tracks steps, calo­rie burn and sleep, Mr. Cald­well believes there is a lot more to this than just giv­ing rewards for meet­ing your dai­ly step goal. He feels that bio­met­ric data could legit­i­mate­ly help shape mar­ket­ing, all using anonymized data­bas­es and opt-in pro­grams. The basic premise behind Strap is “you are what you do,” as opposed to “you are what you tweet or post,” said Strap co-founder and Chief Oper­at­ing Offi­cer Patrick Hen­shaw. That phi­los­o­phy meant mov­ing beyond focus­ing strict­ly on smart­watch­es or fit­ness track­ers to all the data cap­tured by smart­phones. That means pro­grams to “per­son­al­ize our world with all the things that we’re doing, using human data col­lect­ed pas­sive­ly that’s not taint­ed by our social atmos­phere or the face we’re try­ing to have inside social media.”

Mr Cald­well con­tin­ues, “Stud­ies show emails sit­ting there in your inbox first thing in the morn­ing typ­i­cal­ly get the most atten­tion,” Mr. Cald­well said. “If you know when some­one usu­al­ly wakes up, you can send them a mes­sage 10 min­utes before so it’s the first thing they see.” For instance restau­rants could rec­om­mend meals based on what is left calor­i­cal­ly in a restric­tive calo­rie count­ing diet reg­i­ment. “Wear­able tech­nol­o­gy is becom­ing the next mobile, and it’s impor­tant for us as a brand to under­stand how we can best lever­age it,” said Mindy Rick­ert, asso­ciate direc­tor-shop­per mar­ket­ing for small-for­mat stores at Mondelez.

A report by IHS Tech­nol­o­gy, pub­lished ear­li­er this year claimed that with­in five years, an esti­mat­ed 101 mil­lion smart­watch ship­ments will take place by 2020. Accord­ing to CCS Insight’s Wear­ables Fore­cast, World­wide, 2015–2019, this year around 84 mil­lion units are expect­ed to be sold. In the next five years 245 mil­lion wear­able tech devices are expect­ed to ship in 2019. The report also claimed that Chi­na over­took the US to become the biggest mar­ket for fit­ness track­ers in 2015.

George Jiji­ashvili, wear­ables ana­lyst at CCS Insight explains “With the wear­ables (jobs in wear­able tech­nol­o­gy) mar­ket set to be worth $25 bil­lion by 2019 and a decline in tra­di­tion­al watch sales, it is lit­tle sur­prise that watch­mak­ers such as Alpina, Fred­erique Con­stant, Fos­sil, Guess and TAG Heuer have start­ed adding smart­watch­es to their port­fo­lios.” That’s a growth in mon­e­tary val­ue of 64 per­cent. If you con­sid­er what Mr. Cald­well is doing busi­ness wise and philo­soph­i­cal­ly, wear­able tech­nol­o­gy could always be one step ahead of us, in devel­op­ing our health, inter­ests and how we go about our dai­ly pur­chas­es. Because it is quite clear that the main­stream is all over this media.

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