Today, wearable technology is built and incorporated into most of what we do--whether it’s through items of clothing or accessories that can be worn comfortably. However, with technology progressing at a rapid speed, these wearables can now outperform many of the same computing tasks as mobile phones and laptops. Wearables tend to be more sophisticated than the regular hand-held technology in the market today because they provide the user access to information in real time, such as biofeedback and tracking of physiological functions.
Seeing the results of several groundbreaking trials with technology, it is evident that this is a start of the golden era for technology--especially for wearables. Wearables make us part of the "Internet of Things," where everyday objects have Internet connectivity. Smartphones aren’t enough anymore to truly link us into the connected world--after all, we can put them down. But to be in a continuously connected node that not only collects, but shares information, we need wearable technology that works without our conscious thought. The same is applied to the events industry in this day and age.
WEARABLES IN EVENTS
The main goal at events is to keep attendees informed and engaged throughout the show. Wearables now engage people significantly and imaginatively. How individuals use technology both personally and professionally will determine how they interact throughout the course of the event. Attendees’ tech-based interactions at events will be based on their individual personalities, and bring an additional and more personal aspect to the event.
Today, many people spend too much time digging for their smartphones, seeking information that is required immediately. With wearables, you have the ability to connect and access information quickly and efficiently, and all from a device that’s easy to locate. Wearables divert attendees’ attention off their own devices, and onto what an event is essentially all about--connecting with people in the same industry, who share the same interests.
Through the use of event technology, organizers are able to understand how attendees are using technology to navigate their event experience, and how their events should adapt to that behavior. One of the largest benefits of using technology at events is the ability to capture mobility and interaction data. Wearables open up the opportunity to collect data and insights from another device, allowing organizers to discover what attendees want directly from their actions, as they can see what information is important to regular consumers through evaluating the analytics of websites, email, mobile apps, and more. Be it through using RFID, iBeacon, or even human biometric information, event orchestrators can now learn more about their attendees and in return improve their events experiences. In a nutshell, wearables can prove to be an effective means for event experts to understand their audience better.
In the past, we have collaborated with our technology partners to experiment with the new integration of wearables into creative event experiences. The objective of this experiment was to verify a means that will allow event owners/managers to understand more about their participants’ behavior based on which area of the experience they spent a majority of their time at. As part of this study, participants were given smart watches that track their location, heart rate, motion pace and social media use. Fluctuating measurements of heart rate were indicative of their level of excitement and interest in a specific segment of the experience.
Furthermore motion detection was another data source that reported how fast or slow they moved in a certain zone of the experience. Based on the results, we could analyze the participants’ social media use to understand the nature of their online interactions and whether they were positive or negative conversations. All of this is just a fraction of the potential that wearable technologies can help event organizers achieve.
THE FUTURE OF WEARABLES
Since the dawn of time, humans have looked for ways to augment their body. Today wearables are becoming an extension of our human body. They give us more power, provide us with information that can help us live better and be more efficient.
IDTechEx Research, an independent market research company that provides business intelligence and events on emerging technologies to help companies make strategic business decisions, recently forecasted a strong future for the wearable technology industry. According to their research, the wearable technology market is predicted to triple from $24.2 billion in 2015 within the next ten years--creating a market of $74 billion in 2025. With this growth, can you imagine what events will be like ten years down the line? We sure can.
Safwan El Roufai is the chief operating officer at Prisme International, based in Dubai. He has orchestrated the company’s operational transition from an artistic events production company to a global creative event agency. He previously held the post of marketing and communications director at Qatar Project Management, developing and implementing regional and international marketing plans and strategies.