Tesco’s decision to roll-out face scanners within its forecourts may be premature. Wearable technologies such as Google Glass could instead offer advertisers the opportunity to provide better contextual search results to users, appearing on a consumer’s wrist or a screen above their right eye. While not necessarily a killer to outdoor ads, wearable devices, coupled with linked email and social accounts, could better target consumers based on ‘likes’, age, location and previous purchases.
Latest GfK research shows consumers are interested in using wearable technologies. Currently, 6% of UK consumers own such a device, with a further 60% of 16-24 year olds receptive to wearing a device that connects to a smartphone.

Desire for wearable tech drops however when it comes to price. Among all age groups, GfK found purchase intent drops from 24% to just 12% when it comes to buying a £150-£200 smartwatch. Google Glass (priced £400-£600) sees purchase desire similarly drop, from 16% to just 7% (among 16-24 year olds, intent drops far more dramatically, from 32% to 10%).

Those most receptive to the idea of wearable technologies are men aged 45 or under. Nevertheless, adoption of such technologies for marketers to take advantage of remains some way off. For now, face scanners offer the most practical advertising solution.

Posted November 21, 2013

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