By Mike Carrozzo published December 3, 2014

Wearable Technology: Content Fit for Storytelling

CMI_WearableTech-FinalAmid the flood of smart glasses, watches, and other intelligent accessories designed to augment every aspect of our daily lives, a wearable device that aids in the storytelling process may seem to be the most natural fit of all.

In its recently published report The Wearable Future, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) talks specifically about how wearables will change the way we consume various forms of content. As such, wearable technology will affect your content marketing. In fact, some companies already deliver messages directly to an audience through the use of smart watches and glasses, enhancing the branded experience.

PwC describes the natural content-consumption model that has made devices like the smartphone so valuable to nearly every industry. But in the case of wearables, the model is intended to be much more interactive and highly personal, which is a perfect fit for storytelling.

Creating, not consuming the story

Allowing audiences to generate content through the device is perhaps the most useful aspect of any wearable device. It speaks to the content-creation vs. content-consumption debate.

We’ve seen a migration from wearable devices solely focused on the core function of displaying information to those that provide multiple functions, including video recording or streaming to capture and share content. As open application programming interface (API) development progresses, these multi-function capabilities will skyrocket and wearing these devices will be more ingrained into our everyday world. Such capabilities do, indeed, make wearables fit for storytelling.

Three touches to wearable storytelling

As is the practice with any technology, wearables for the purpose of storytelling must be viewed with a bit of a discerning eye. The most useful devices need to deliver new and unique capabilities, and enhance the wearer’s ability to find and generate content.

Consider the following criteria for successful storytelling through wearable devices:

1. Natural touch. Storytelling is best when you can get the audience to see the story through your eyes. When a device makes users less cognizant of the fact that they are actually wearing it, they can live in the moment, which translates to telling the story in its most natural format. A pair of sunglasses, for example, is a more natural viewing experience than a viewfinder of a camera strapped to the body.

Alongside Google Glass, products from companies like Pivothead and Vuzix, to name a couple, are introducing visual-streaming capabilities into the wearable-technology fold. In true content-generation form, these devices are spearheading a movement of creating point-of-view video that allows marketers to share content straight from the brand’s line of sight to the web. The smart-glass form is ideal for delivering high-quality imaging and broadcast performance capabilities.

2. Unique experience. What if you could share the stories that have long gone untold due to some type of physical limitation? Look to what Google X laboratory is doing with wearable technology – it’s exploring how to transmit content from a pill through nanobots in the bloodstream to scan specific body tissue for cancer.

This is an extreme example but illustrates the point that technology has the capability to take us anywhere. Don’t think that Google isn’t already researching ways to adapt this type of technology for more common everyday uses.

3. Beyond limitations. Speaking of physical limitations, how about the age-old challenge of simply not being able to clearly hear the story? Think about that crowded meeting or busy trade-show floor where you are struggling to hear the details.

This is where a device like LaLaLa would come in handy. LaLaLa is a concept device molded as an earpiece that uses motion-sensing technology to filter all extraneous noise in an environment and focus the audio on a single speaker. Also, LaLaLa is set to include a built-in camera to help with object recognition, as well as some gesture-control functionality.

Wear the story

Those in the business of telling stories are always looking for that unique way to find and package a message for the audience. Couple this with the fact that we live at a time when technology innovation is at an all-time high. Blending these two ideas will help better uncover and deliver the content that has seemingly been out of reach.

Perhaps the greatest impact that wearable technology will make on the world is a story that is yet to be told.

Want more expert advice on addressing the future of content marketing? Check out all the fantastic CMW sessions that are available through our Video on Demand portal.

Cover image by Mia Domenico, Unsplash, via pixabay

Author: Mike Carrozzo

Mike is the Vice President of Content Strategy for Fuse Communications. He brings 10 years of editorial planning and content creation experience to help companies develop strategic message campaigns and expand community engagement. Mike is the former Chief Editor at Specialty Publishing Company where he ran two award-winning B2B publications covering wearable devices and information technology. You can follow him on Twitter at @carrozzomike.

Other posts by Mike Carrozzo

  • Manni

    Hi Mike

    Excellent stuff

    I really find each and every point you have aroused here is of paramount importance.

    I find this topic of Wearable Technology very informative and interesting.

    • Mike Carrozzo

      Thank you Manni, Yes, I think that the biggest impact that wearables can make on us as content marketers is to enhance our craft. It is not about the technology, but rather our ability to use that technology as an extension of what we do. It needs to be a natural for us to use, and not some clunky device that adds no value.

      Are you currently using
      any such technology?

  • jeffsters

    Sorry… But when people are spending tens of billions on lasik and contacts so they DONT HAVE WEAR GLASSES I don’t see “glasses” wareables marking any sort of traction in a large way. In verticals yes but not consumer. There is simply NO COMPELLING use case for people to wear these unlike actually being able to see.

    • Mike Carrozzo

      Hello Jeffsters
      I think you bring up an important point. In the consumer realm, in my opinion, these devices need to look better and provide clear value. I can do most things with my iPhone, so I do not need glasses. Plus, most if not all models are not very stylish. But in the vertical markets is where you will begin to see more uptake. You are already seeing cops, construction workers and doctors using Glass. And as app developers start to create vertical specific solutions, this will make it even more compelling.

      For content marketing, I think wearables give us a unique opportunity to get at stories that before seems unreachable. That is when tech truly makes a difference–not when it just adds some flash, but when it actually enhances my life.

      Thank you for the comment

  • Vinish Garg

    Great article. Wearables are certainly making inroads in the way content marketers and strategists will prepare their business case, soon. Great opportunity and of course challenges too!

    • Mike Carrozzo

      Hello Vinish. Thank you for the comment. Agree about the challenges. I think the biggest one is getting past that initial “awe” factor and finding devices that add real value to our daily lives

  • Linked Media Group, Inc.

    OMG we are in a bubble economy again. I am going to auction off my sock puppet on Ebay and make a billion. We need to get more devices into the hands of consumers around the world: one “smartphone” is not enough to make them distracted. Google Glass a great example of hubris and tech gone awry. #yawn