Wearable tech needs better PR!

First it was the “plastic bracelet” that could “run your life” for actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Then it was UK Chancellor George Osborne’s trendy new wristband, although the Independent was unclear as to whether or not it would warn him off burgers and chips …


Next, the Daily Mail told us that high-tech wristbands can track your sex life and even tell if you’re “faking it” or not – and now it’s the Yahoo! employee challenge to walk 100 miles in a month.

What’s clear is that getting media coverage for wristband wearables is easy right now: it’s a growth market, the devices are available everywhere from Apple stores to Amazon and they’re appearing on the wrists of high-profile movers and shakers.

 But as we see from the handful of stories above, it’s not so easy to control the message. There’s a lot of reportage out there, but very little analysis. My conclusion: the wearable tech wristband industry needs better PR! An evangelist, who can go deeper than just scratching the surface to explain the benefits – and in doing so, can easily become a voice of the industry on wearable topics. 

Surprisingly, none of the early wristband wearable leaders – such as Jawbone, FitBit and Nike – seem to be too interested, since none have yet managed to come up with a single quoteworthy spokesperson. What’s needed is a natural “go to” person who is an ever-available fount of facts and quotes, able to debunk the myths, add clamor to the hype, and explain exactly what you can do with a high-tech wristband (and perhaps what you can’t).This one is up for grabs. It’s not even difficult – you just need some authoritative, quoteworthy stats comparing things like which wearable tracks what, how much it costs, where it’s available, and – especially for the celebrity-obsessed media – a constantly-updated feed on who’s “rocking” one. Mix in some stories about how wearables are helping people to improve their lives – and be on hand to help curious, under-informed journalists to navigate around the topic, and you’re an overnight sensation.

Since wearables is a personal interest (I’ve already shared my short-lived experiment with the Jawbone UP), I’ve started a blog dedicated to wearable tech – and for reporting my progress with the Jawbone’s replacement, a FitBit Flex. The blog is a reflection of what catches my eye as wearables continue to mature.Why am I rocking a “cheap plastic bracelet”? Because it is generating a fascinating (web-based) log of how much, or in many cases, how little activity I’ve managed in a day. Sitting in brainstorming sessions or strategizing on storytelling is great brain food, but doesn’t stretch my legs. In particular, sleep logging has been a highlight, and simply corroborates that I am most definitely NOT a morning person.

Simon Jones

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