I've got a new post in Ad Age about a subject we'll be hearing plenty more about in the coming decade: humanity's cyborgization, and how advertisers are learning from actuaries. The post starts:
You might know how much an impression's worth for your brand. Perhaps you can estimate the value of a click, or social actions such as buzz, likes and shares. But what if you could measure a customer's level of physical activity? What about posture, sleep habits, or even virility?
That data's going to become increasingly available to marketers and advertisers as we head into the age of the cyborg.
Once a hallmark of science fiction, the human enhanced with mechanical superpowers is quickly becoming mainstream with the advent of wearable technology. Among the milestones arising over the past decade was Apple's success with slimming down the iPod and equipping it with enough storage to hold thousands of songs, which turned it into a popular workout accessory. A slew of add-ons sprung up to allow runners to wear the iPod as an armband. Then in May 2006, Nike released Nike+, in collaboration with Apple, a wireless chip embeddable in select shoe models. In a breakthrough melding of fashion and technology, the chip synced with the iPod, and later the iPhone, to track fitness activity and sync music to workouts. In 2012 Nike released the FuelBand, transitioning its technology from a chip hidden inside a shoe to a bracelet that became its own fashion statement.
Read the rest at Ad Age, and let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter.