There seems to be a stream of new technological innovation lately: Google glass, a plethora of smart-watches, and an increasing availability of tablets- just to name a few. We are no longer confined to desks, keyboards, and screens to access the digital world. Now, we can enter the online realm via our wrists, using our voices, and even with our facial cues. With all of these new digital portals, how will our socialization adapt?
We're used to constant connection- everyone has a smartphone and/or laptop that's proven to be a reliable companion. But with these wearable innovations, we are integrating technology even more into our lives, for better or for worse. Imagine walking down the street- as you stroll, a friend's message pops up right before your eyes, your wrist starts to vibrate to alert you to a new email, and your trusty smartphone is ringing to let you know of a sale going on in the store you just passed. This could be a true reality (albeit slightly exaggerated) as more wearable and portable technologies are produced.
This evolved connection could be quite fun. As Google Glass becomes less of a gimmick and more of an in-demand accessory, developers are looking to integrate Glass into their offerings. For example, a new game from Mind Pirate called Global Food Fight allows users to play both on their iPhones and on Google Glass, one of the first interactive and social games to do so. Users can play this game in real-time with friends, and, if using Glass, will be transported into this virtual world right before their eyes. Imagine hanging out, in a food fight, with friends while actually at home. This innovation takes video gaming to a whole new and transportive level.
This connection could also go even further. As the digital world wonders what, if anything, Facebook's acquisition Oculus will bring, some are already putting the device to use. KO-OP Mode has created an app called Facerift that lets you 'scroll Facebook...with your face.'? The app is described as 'the dream of the 3d web'? that will make friends 'more real'? and claims: 'you'll never Facebook without your face again.'? Facerift allows users to wander around Facebook in a 3-D virtual world, literally placing users inside of the social network. This type of innovation is exciting- and possibly a little scary. By placing users in sucha virtual environment, how will this impact our interactions in actual reality? Will the lines between real-reality and virtual-reality blur further?
Only time will tell how new wearable and portable technologies will impact our socialization. For marketers especially, we now must think of the entire user experience, not just traditional ads or promotions. Ads and campaigns will have to be more integrated, more responsive, and more seamlessly transitioned from on- to off-line environments. As users can connect and communicate more readily, brands will also have to find ways to socialize with users online. In the end, for marketers content will likely still prove king, but presentation will certainly require new creativity.
So, whether we're ready or not, it's time to say hello to the wearable, portable, and transportive technologies of our future. Which are you ready to sport?