Last week Apple introduced its highly anticipated Apple Watch and launched us into the era of wearable technology. As a new medium for instant connection to the world around us, wearable technology complicates an already multifaceted media environment, and Apple’s association of “glance” with the watch is making waves before it’s even in stores.The popular phrase “at first glance” comes to mind when thinking about Apple’s use of the term. Our first glance is the most important. We form quick judgments and make initial decisions within seconds of viewing something.
Consider the popular mobile dating app Tinder, which is now valued higher than $750 million. You open your account and a profile image of a possible love connection appears on your phone. You swipe right to like or left to pass, and make a critical (or not so critical) relationship decision in a matter of seconds.
In fact, it takes a tenth of a second to make a first impression, and these impressions don’t often change with time. This inclination in all of us, merged with technology, is driving the success of dating apps like Tinder, but it’s also impacting the way we communicate, share news and stay connected.
We experience everything faster today. In 2006, Twitter cut down an 800 word article to 140 characters and transformed how we consume news with its Twitter feed and mobile app. But the Apple Watch incites an even more dramatic shift in media delivery.
Dan Shanoff from NiemanLab said, “Glance journalism makes tweets look like longform.”
While the Apple Watch isn’t at the stage where it’s independently providing a constant feed of news, social media updates, emails and communications, it’s likely not far off and it will benefit all media professionals to start thinking about how to adjust their content now to get the right first impression later.
So how can we prepare for the glance?
The glance suggests we will give only a tenth of a second to the updates we will wear on our wrist and it will be primarily visual, and, for the first time, somatic. Marketing professionals and journalists will need to focus on three mechanisms to successfully reach their audiences through wearable technology:
While I’m personally a black sheep as a late adopter in the tech world, I recognize the impact of the Apple Watch will be enormous for the marketing and media industries. It will not only change how we deliver and digest content, but how we measure the effectiveness of our campaigns. We will reap the benefits of wearable technology if we start preparing in advance for its disruption.