Consumers drawn to wearables in search of an easier life, says Mindshare research

Desire to ‘go with the flow’ will open up communications opportunities for advertisers

Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, fielding questions about the Apple watch ahead of its launch last April. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, fielding questions about the Apple watch ahead of its launch last April. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

 

The desire for “flow” – the process of making our daily lives smoother – is set to prompt future uptake of wearable devices, according to new research by media agency Mindshare and London university Goldsmiths.

They found 36 per cent of UK smartphone users identified their need for “flow” as a motivation for adopting wearables such as smartwatches, activity trackers and augmented reality devices.

Shortening queue times, unlocking car doors and changing heating and lighting preferences upon entering a room are among the ways in which wearables may assist our daily “flow”.

‘‘Reflection”, or the use of data stored on wearables to improve our lives physically or emotionally, was also identified as a popular need, with 35 per cent of smartphone users saying they were keen.

Mindshare predicts “huge communications opportunities for brands”, citing opt-in push-notification alerts from advertisers and paid search ads to users who dare to make voice search commands. “Now is the time for experimentation,” said Jeremy Pounder, research director with Mindshare UK.

In psychology, the term “flow” is less about making everyday life easier than it is about getting totally immersed in a particular activity, including, for example, a game. Still, it seems likely that wearables will be able to help consumers achieve that particular mental state too.