Smart watches predicted to become the ‘remote control’ for our lives

(r-l) Aseem Chandra, Adobe,; Jody Giles, Under Armour;  Suresh Bathini, Sony Entertainment;  Brent Hieggelke, Urban Airship

(r-l) Aseem Chandra, Adobe,; Jody Giles, Under Armour; Suresh Bathini, Sony Entertainment;
Brent Hieggelke, Urban Airship

Smart watches will become the “remote control for the remote control four our lives” according to one technologist, whilst a senior executive at Under Armour has said it is a tech brand, not a clothing brand.

During a panel discussing the internet of things at the Adobe Summit overnight mobile evangelist Brent Hieggelke warned as connected devices become more common brands are going to need to become more strategic about the messages they push to consumers, but said “when they’re relevant they’re life savers”.

“On average at the moment people have 100 apps on their phone, and we’re probably going to have an app for every single device,” he said.

“Just think about how daunting that’s going to be. We’re going to get interrupted theoretically non-stop. Our bar of what we’re going to allow is going to get unbelievably high.  We only need to send the things that matter and the consumer will love us for that.”

Hieggelke, who works for push notification provider Urban Airship, also took aim at beacon technology which triggers a person’s phone “just because someone is near your store” as “a terrible experience” dubbing it “advertasing”.

Fellow panelist Jody Giles, who leads product integration at Under Armour, described the transformation the brand was undertaking after buying several software providers, including Map My Run and Map My Ride, giving it a network of more than 120 million users globally making it the largest connected platform in the world.

He said it was actually a technology brand, not a clothing brand.

“Our goal is not so much to be in the hardware business, because what’s hot today is gone tomorrow, we want to provide a record where all your data as the devices and technologies change can persist and stay in one place,” he said.

“We know more about our car than our body. We want to help answer that question.”

He added it was also using the data to”listen” to its customers and make improvements to its products, saying of those 120 million users 85 per cent were under the age of 40, 75 per cent were women and 40 per cent are outside the US, a market which brings in just 9 per cent of its revenue currently.

Hieggelke described smartphones as the “remote controls for our lives”, but he said smart watches would become the “remote control to the remote control”.

“The idea you’re going to have a super filter on top of your phone and will be able to control with a higher level of discretion which of these apps I’ll let interrupt me on my wrist,” he said.

” It’s an unbelievable relationship, we’ll literally be able to squeeze the customer’s hands, and in a way the customer is in control and says I will let you do that.”

He added: “Think about the television. the whole economy of TV was exploded by the remote control. Before that there were five or six channels, now there’s the ability to flick through hundreds of channels. How many people touch their TV on a daily basis?

“We don’t, but we touch our remotes just about every day. The watch will become that remote control.”

Underarmour’s Giles said he thought while people would have dozens of connected devices that would not be a concern to them, as long as they were able to connect them seamlessly “and not think about them”.

On what the future holds for the internet of things Hieggelke said it would become “like electricity”.

“It will be second nature to kids  – it’s guys like us who will have to think a little more,” he added.

“Like the rise of vinyl in recent years I wonder if we’ll see vacations where you disconnect become really novel and exciting- that’ll be interesting, the novelty of going completely unconnected.”

Ales Hayes

Alex Hayes is a guest of Adobe at the Summit conference in Salt Lake City


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