Tag Archives: iwatch

Why Don´t I Use Data on My Smartphone?

Constant amusement for my co-workers is that I use pre-paid phone with no data. So you cannot reach me with e-mail when I am not anywhere with Wi-Fi. I cannot be reached with WhatsApp (or at least not that fast).

Yes, I work in digital agency.

Originally this started because I was not quite sure how long I would be in Singapore. Now that it has gone well over two years, it might just be procrastination. When asked my odd mobile behavior, I will always tell these three reasons:

1. Only way to protest is through consumption

All of the telecom operators offer only 2-year plans, which I oppose in principle. I believe that you should be able to make profitable business without forcing the customer lock-in. Forced customer lock-in is total opposite of what great brand should do. It is a cheap move and there are smarter ways to do that lock-in as well (see: Apple)

If someone would come with more flexible plan, I would probably sign a proper deal. Until that, I am minimizing my phone costs and paying to any Telco by having the pre-paid. And they are already screwing me up with my home internet plan, so they are getting them nevertheless.

 2. Connectivity can be good: constant interruption is not

Being connected to Internet is a great thing and I damn the lack of data every single time I cannot get a cab. There is a superb app for that in here. If I would be constantly connected, I would also be constantly interrupted with different alerts (from mail, social media, other apps). That makes you stupid and it is a fact.

I counted that I have read over 100 novels, while I have been here. I mostly do my reading while commuting. With data, I would have probably read 100 novel worth of inane status updates or have a Nobel laureate in Candy Crush Saga.

3. Limitations set boundaries

My co-workers know that I do not have data and I generally do not read mails after leaving office. After a while they also respect that and also know where they can contact me if there is something urgent. As Internet and digital is so much of what I do at my work, I rather spend my spare time with analog activities. Which does not mean that it is a good thing, I just prefer vinyl records to music streaming services. Different strokes for different folks.

Am I a Luddite?

I don´t think so. I genuinely believe in the possibilities of digital. I think that digital detox is bullshit. Mobile Internet is constantly making our lives better. I am not a better person compared to antisocial commuters with their mobiles. I am antisocial with my book. What works for me, does not necessarily work for you. And vice versa.

I am also super excited about new technological possibilities. Yesterday I was totally amped up when testing new virtual helmet. I am probably abandoning my pre-paid days to fully experience Apple iWatch (as I believe in the potential of wearables). I constantly test new apps and services (I am even on Ello, which is probably the most overhyped new service ever). I usually test them for a while and find out what makes people tick. Why they are using them? Then I usually abandon them.

You don´t have to be a digital native to be able to do successful digital marketing. You have to be curious and always open to new things. And you better understand that none of your peculiar old-school habits reflect any other people. Then you will be just fine.

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Wearable Tech: The End of The Mobile as We Know It?

When observing people playing with their smartphones, tablets and phablets*, it is quite hard to believe that handheld mobile phone is only 40 year old invention and has been in mainstream use only for the last twenty years depending on the country. The influence of mobile phone to human behavior has been profound. When comparing current smartphones to the first bulky ones, they are quite far away from its original purpose of speaking to each other. New devices are definitely mobile, not necessarily that much of phones anymore.

So enter the wearable tech. It will be the next step for the mobile revolution.

Phone has been just a transition period with mobile. Mobile consists of three important elements: freedom, access & connection. You can achieve those with multiple devices. When assessing the future of mobile, there are two major shifts happening. Firstly, we are moving to the age of different screens. Secondly, we are totally defining mobile in a new way. It easy to dismiss wearable tech as a fad, but Sergey Brin raises really important point in this comment from Ted Conference few weeks back:

“Is this the way you’re meant to interact with other people? Is the future of connection just people walking around hunched up, looking down, rubbing a featureless piece of glass? It’s kind of emasculating. Is this what you’re meant to do with your body? You want something that will free your eyes.”

Using of smartphone has created new behavior patterns for us (aptly documented in the excellent Curious Rituals). Wearable tech is ideologically step backwards from smartphones. It is technology adapting to existing human behavior instead of actively changing it. In a way, wearable tech is more natural than using smartphone.

When thinking about possibilities of wearable tech, I would closely benchmark sports companies. Quantified self –movement naturally started from sporting and has evolved lately to other areas. Nike FuelBand is one of the first crossover wearable tech products, which has its roots in sports but expands to other areas as well. The really big potential is with the normal people. Being a sports fanatic myself it is often hard to forget that the target audience of us is lucrative but still quite small. The wearable tech company who is able to tap the mainstream audience will win. And win big: the wearable tech industry is estimated to be worth of $6 billion by the end of the year 2016.

When creating wearable technology, we have to think quite deeply about the issue of what people would wear and what they are wearing now? Looking from that angle, the wearable tech products most likely to hit mainstream should be quite familiar product types. My hunch is that they will be either watches, glasses or clothing (or combination of all of these):

The Revenge of the Watch
Watch has been relevant for hundred of years. You do not necessarily use it to its original purpose of timekeeping, but it has still maintained its role as a status symbol for many people. If you check time from your mobile phones, why would you not send your WeChat-messages from your watch? It will be interesting to see will certain existing watch manufacturers with strong brand equity challenge the technology companies in this field?
Watch out for: Kickstarter all-star Pebble, The rumoured iWatch, traditional existing watch manufacturers, sports watch brands (such as Polar or Suunto)

Using Glasses to Look Be Smarter
What can I say about Google glasses that is not said in this video (NSFW)?

Nevertheless, I want to acquire one pair, despite all the privacy concerns.Google Glass has already competitors as well, but all the eyes will be on the Google on this one.
Important players: Google Glass, Luxottica (world´s largest eyewear company)

Maxwell Smart was Right
With clothing technology this rubber boot phone is definitely the most interesting one:
Rubber Boot Phone
(Designer Sean Miles project for O2)

Jokes aside, the smart clothing has more supporting function with wearable technology accessories (maybe excluding bracelets). Different sensors can track things in clothing, but it is unlikely that we use our underwear as the main starting point for our mobile communication or access. That being said, combination of smartphone and smart clothing will probably be quite crucial in the transition period when moving to the new era of mobile. Especially if quantified self- phenomenon continues expanding to even more mainstream audiences.

Will wearable tech be the future of mobile?
I truly think so. The question is when that future is evenly distributed to the whole world?

* Contender for the most annoying word invented in last couple of years.

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