can help create a more holistic understanding of a consumer and help brands build better, more nuanced experiences. The caveat is that the information collected through this new generation of technology will make the big data dilemma more difficult to solve.
Unstructured data already presents a major challenge: As users engage with an increasing number of channels, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep information consistent, relevant, and up to date. An influx of additional data extracted by wearable technology further exacerbates the problem; as big data becomes even bigger, analyzing it will become more complex. To meet the growing demand for better analytics, vendors will need to develop solutions that are intuitive and can pinpoint key correlations.
"The future of data analytics isn't being able to draw on every single data point to deliver a targeted ad," says Duncan Clark, global head of research and analysis at Netbiscuits, a cloud platform for Web-based apps. "It's looking at a set of data points and determining which ones are relevant in a given situation. In other words, analytics tools will have to determine which data points correlate with a particular behavior and then act on those data points to drive conversion," he adds.
Though ripe with potential for both consumers and businesses, wearable technology still has a number of obstacles to overcome before it becomes widely adopted. "It's quite possible that by 2020, wearable technology will skyrocket, but today, its interface is holding it back," Shapira insists.
Smartphones, for example, didn't quite take off until Apple introduced the concept of finger-as-interface. Many wearables face a similar roadblock: "Right now, wearable technology is different, but it's not being used differently," according to Shapira. "Look at smartwatches. They rely on the same touch interface as a phone, so why bother using two devices?" he asks.
Still, analysts and technology providers are boldly optimistic. Shapira, for example, says smartphones took roughly eight years to reach wide adoption, the tablet took only three, and with wearables, that timeframe could be even shorter.
"Wearables are becoming more and more differentiated from smartphones and tablets, and by the end of 2014, we'll be seeing a substantial uptick in adoption," Clark adds.