As Sony prepares to announce its new smartwatch this week, we take a look at what features marketers would want from such a gadget
Sony is no stranger to the smartwatch. In 2007, the electronics company had launched the SmartWatch, priced at $100. The device hadn’t exactly caught consumers’ imagination; the reasons given for this have ranged from the heavy price tag to the smartwatch’s unappealing looks. Part of the reason, however, was also the fact that it only worked when connected to an Android smartphone, and although its hardware was good, the software that Sony used for its first smartwatch was a massive let-down.
As Sony now prepares to launch the second edition of its SmartWatch at the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai, we will take a look at the gadget from a mobile marketing perspective and discuss some of the features a smartwatch should ideally include.
Smartwatch features for mobile marketing:
1) From what we know so far, it seems like Sony’s new smartwatch continues to be an Android-only device. This is a big mistake, considering the large number of consumers who swear by Apple devices. There’s also the fact that Apple is rumoured to be working on its own “iWatch”, so it is in Sony’s best interests to make sure that any smart-device user could use the new smartwatch.
2) Pebble, the E-Ink wristwatch, which is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, allows users to install apps, once they have plugged it into a smartphone. This is a great idea particularly if smartwatches could have apps that would store mobile coupons or mobile loyalty points. By including NFC capabilities, the smartwatch could then be used by consumers to redeem coupons or loyalty points at an NFC terminal in any brick-and-mortar store.
3) Like mobiles, smartwatches will travel with their users; this makes it a great device for location-based marketing. Consumers could check into a location by using their smartwatches, and have mobile-marketing messages, coupons and offers delivered to them.
As this article points out, smartwatches need to convey exactly why a consumer would want to use these devices at all. The points we have made above are purely speculative: there is no indication that Sony or any other manufacturer is as yet thinking of developing a device that includes these features. However, with rumour swirling about multiple companies looking into the possibilities of smartwatches, we’re keeping our eyes wide open for further developments.