By Phillip Ohren, Mindshare
July 2014 will see the release of the Google Watch, a smartwatch made in partnership with LG, ahead of Apple’s release of a rumored iWatch. In addition to traditional smartwatch capability such as call, message and email the Google Watch will provide features like traffic alerts, travel information, flight details and weather forecasts. With the addition of the predictive Google Now software the new device is designed to give owners information they need without having to ask for it.
Details & Implications
The integration of Google Now is the biggest difference between the Google Watch and current smartwatches on the market; Google Now’s tagline is; “Just the right information at just the right time.” It works by using signals from hundreds of data sources such as connected friends, your location, information found in Gmail, news or even the weather.
When Google Now was first released, it was positioned as ‘predictive search’ and has been active on Android smartphones and iOs devices using the Google App for the past 18 months. Its success has led to its integration into the new watch. Its usage case means that if a user were to book a hotel with booking.com and the confirmation was sent to a Gmail account, Google Now would understand this and send a reminder, information on travel time from your current location or even show you when to check-in. Essentially, this integrated technology negates the need for users to search Google in the first instance. This technology has not been seen on competing smartwatches to-date and as such could represent quite a major USP.
Giving people ‘what they want before they want it’ will essentially reduce the number of people searching.
Factual information, such as a hotel booking confirmation, typically requires a Google search which results in traffic for brands and opportunities for competitors to capture that interest based traffic. Therefore, brands will need to better integrate with applications such as Gmail to ensure that Google can both see and interpret a consistent message, therefore enabling brands to reach users Google thinks it may be relevant to. It also highlights that SEO now encapsulates much more than just web-pages, but takes in Maps listings, email alerts and all digitally traceable owned assets.
Google continues to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible. In this example we see information reaching us via our wrists. For advertisers, technologies such as Google Now mean they need to ensure they give Google as much information regarding their customers, potential and actual, as possible in order to ensure they don’t lose access to them before they’re even aware of it.