‘Wearable tech’ is the buzz phrase of 2015, but what exactly is it and how can you use it at your events?
So-called ‘wearables’ are pieces of technology that the user wears on their body, like a watch, a wristband or a headset.
As a concept it’s actually been around for a while (remember those calculator watches from the 80s?), but with tech giants such as Google, Apple and Microsoft releasing cutting-edge wearables, this year it’s really come under the spotlight.
Uptake of wearable tech in the events industry has been led by big brands, but as the technology becomes more mainstream we’re bound to start seeing it at smaller scale corporate events.
If you fancy being an ‘early adopter’ and wowing delegates with a high tech feature at your next event, read on for some ideas…
Bioreactive Wristbands @ Asia Pacific International Music Summit
While guests partied to tunes spun by superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold, the wristbands tracked the wearer’s emotion and biometric data (heartbeat, body temperature, sweat level, etc.). This was used to create beautiful reactive art, as well as highlight who was dancing the hardest and which tracks garnered the best reaction from the crowd. Oakenfold could view this data in real-time and react accordingly by upping the tempo if he saw dancers lagging! Story via Jack Morton.
‘Teleporting’ @ Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
The hotel brand invited visitors to step inside their ‘teleporter’ – a phone booth-like structure featuring the immersive 360-degree Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, wireless headphones and a vibrating platform.
While ‘travelling’ to Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club in Hawaii, sensory elements kicked in, giving users the feeling of the warm sun on their skin, breeze in their hair and ocean spray in their face! Story via Marriott.
‘Shrinking’ @ The Canadian Grand Prix 2014
Perhaps taking inspiration from ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids,’ Shell was inspired to shrink down visitors to the Canadian Grand Prix to the size of a droplet of fuel so they could journey through an engine.
Oculus Rift headsets immersed the user in dramatic visuals that followed the twists and turns of a droplet of fuel travelling from the forecourt pump through an engine. The visuals were accompanied by commentary by BBC sports presenter Murray Walker, who described the VR experience as a ‘scientific Walt Disney’. Story via Imagination.
Brain Scanners @ South by Southwest
Media company BuzzFeed provided Emotiv headsets to guests who were able to see their brain activities in response to eating different types of 3D-printed candy made on the premises.
Meanwhile, over at General Electric’s BBQ Research Center, participants put on colour-coded brainwave scanners to see how their brains reacted while eating different barbecue cuts and sides. Story via BizBash.
Google Glass @ Twickenham Talks
Audience interaction specialist sli.do showcased its specialist app for Google Glass – the first Google Glass app for event moderators. Used in conjunction with the high-tech glasses, the app enables moderators to maintain eye contact with the audience while moderating questions, or potentially viewing an autocue.
Although Google Glass is not currently available, Apple has confirmed it’s working on a new, improved version, hopefully to be released later this year. Story via Meetpie.
Apple Watch @ Hub by Premier Inn Covent Garden
The recently opened hub by Premier Inn Covent Garden has built complete domotic control of its rooms around the Apple Watch.
Using the hub Apple Watch app, guests can control in-room functions, such as lighting, temperature and even the smart TV, all with a few taps on their wrist.
According to hub, 42% of UK guests would rather operate these things via a display screen instead of a switch or a remote control – not only is it more streamlined, it’s certainly a big plus for hygiene! Story via HotelChatter.