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.