The marketing of wearables isn't likely to be dying down anytime soon. The latest tracking of fitness bands and smartwatches shows that the market continues on the rise, with first quarter sales this year beating last by 67%. Shipments of wearables hit 20 million units in the first quarter, up from 12 million a year ago, according to the latest quarterly tracking.
The Internet of Things is going to provide brands with new and direct access to customers. And in the process, some retailers may find themselves being somewhat cut out of the picture. It's not necessarily that consumers themselves are making the initial move, since some new, direct-connect capabilities are being built in to things that people buy. In one of my recurring visits to Staples to buy a print cartridge over the weekend, I made my normal check to see whether it was more cost effective to buy a replacement cartridge for my current HP printer or to buy a …
The social robots are coming. And there just may be a new ad model that comes along with them. Plenty of features of the coming social robots were detailed at the Rework Connected Home Summit in Boston this week. The relatively small devices can recognize faces, detect moods as well as learn and self-adjust over time. One of the more intriguing social robots discussed at the conference was Jibo.
While there will be billions of Internet-connected consumer things ranging from wearables to appliances, one of the most visible objects for marketers still will be beacons, at least into the foreseeable future. Beacons are quite nicely maturing from simply on-the-spot-ad-triggering systems to devices that facilitate the collection of consumer location data combined with analysis that translates that into new behavioral insights.
Beacons were always good at being able to trigger a message or ad based on a consumer's location, but now they're being used to better predict exactly when that message should be sent. And based on recent testing, it looks like adding the right time into the purchase cycle can actually increase purchase intent.
Smart homes are obviously still in the early days. A consumer may get a smart thermostat or lights that can be controlled by smartphone, but we're still quite a ways from totally connected homes. But many major brands are anxious to see how smart homes evolve, so that their products and services are assured a fit in that new world.
Chances are that of consumers who have a wearable device on their wrist, that device is a fitness tracker. Despite all the publicity, hype and glamour around smartwatches, three out of four wrist wearable devices in the U.S. are fitness bands, based on a new wearable tracking study. More than one in 10 (12%) of consumers in the U.S. own either a fitness band or smartwatch, according to a new report.
For many consumers, the Internet of Things may come to them from the outside in rather than the inside out. Rather than a consumer deciding to purchase a smart device for the home and then looking for a way to connect it to other things to make it more useful, the actual drivers may start outside the home. For various reasons, large-scale Internet of Things projects are rolling out all over the place.
Some homes will be getting smart and others won't. The latest forecast of North American broadband households shows that half of them will be smart homes within four years. Of course, this means that the other half will remain not so smart.
Connecting is the key component in the Internet of Things and consumers seem to want those connections to be pretty much wherever they are. The smartphone obviously is one of the most obvious of connected devices today and consumers look to that device as a connection for other things. It turns out that many consumers also want to link the connections in their homes with the connections in their cars, based on a new study.