Vision Critical

The customer insight platform
for customer-centric companies

Request a Live Demo


The future promise of wearable technology (think Google Glass) and current pre-cognitive passive measurement tools such as eye-tracking are rapidly adding to the breadth of tactics that can be used to extract new types of meaningful consumer insight and rich behavioral data.

The era of wearable computing is closer than we think in the evolution of insight. Here are three examples of how companies today are integrating the latest research technologies to gather behavioral and visual data:

Monitor baby data through the "smart baby onesie."

As wearable technology becomes more mainstream-evident from the plethora of vendors showcasing at CES 2014 last week-one thing becomes clearer than ever: wearables may be starting in the crib, but are no longer in their infancy!

With the '"smart baby onesie" on display at Intel's booth-manufactured by the company, Rest Devices - parents may now have the added opportunity to keep track of heath related data regarding their infants in the crib - including their respiratory rate, and thus be more aware of any potential discomfort or illness developing.

Called the Mimi Baby, this may represent the new baby monitor of the future, with the ability to monitor real data other than cooing or movement of blanked from first generation microphone-based monitors or even baby-cams. - Robert Glatter, Forbes

Tweet this: Baby data, not #bigdata: The future of wearable #tech features a smart baby onesie: See @VisionCritical roundup: #mrx

Wearable technology to improve Nike products & tweak Google's advertising model.

One of the most powerful benefits of wearable technology is the gathering of personal data. For activity trackers, such as Fitbit and Nike Fuelband, this data is used by the individual to better understand and improve their health. For brands, access to personal wearable data could be used to improve the way they market and even develop their product and services to consumers.

Google has already been rumored to be getting ready to leverage Glass in this way with their "pay-per-gaze" advertising model. Using Glass' eye tracking capabilities, advertisers would be charged based on users actually seeing their ad, taking pay-per-engagement to a whole new level.

Glass and other smart glasses like it could also be used to disrupt non-digital ads in the same way. For the first time ever, advertisers may be able to get digital analytics for more traditional forms of advertising such as print and out-of-home (billboards, transit shelters etc.).

But the power of wearables for marketers goes well beyond ad tracking. The measurement capabilities of wearables like eye tracking smart glasses, heart rate monitoring wristbands and brain-sensing headbands will also change the focus group. - Tom Emrich, BetaKit

Tweet this: Wearable tech improves @Nike products & tweak @Google's #advertising model. See @VisionCritical roundup: #marketing

Google gauges interest levels for Google Local Carousel (a beta search feature) by using heat maps.

When using heatmaps to gauge interest levels for Google Local Carousel results, search marketer Matthew Hunt discovered that 48 percent of searchers surveyed clicked the Carousel results, while only 14.5 percent clicked on the map.

Using the search term 'Chicago Restaurants,' Hunt asked 83 searchers to click on the area of the Google search results page that was of most interest to them. According to Hunt's study, 40 searchers clicked on Carousel results, while 12 of the 83 searchers clicked on the map. - Amy Gesenhues, Search Engine Land

Tweet this: How @Google's Local #Carousel feature has benefited from heat maps. See @VisionCritical roundup: #mrx #newmr

Cheetos embraces neuromarketing to discover how consumers respond to cheese puffs.

It's easy for businesses to keep track of what we buy, but harder to figure out why. Enter a nascent field called neuromarketing, which uses the tools of neuroscience to determine why we prefer some products over others. Harvard Business School marketing professor Uma R. Karmarkar explains how raw brain data is helping researchers unlock the mysteries of consumer choice.

Karmarkar cites the example of snack-food giant Frito-Lay, which in 2008 hired a neuromarketing firm to look into how consumers respond to Cheetos, the top-selling brand of cheese puffs in the United States. Using EEG technology on a group of willing subjects, the firm determined that consumers respond strongly to the fact that eating Cheetos turns their fingers orange with residual cheese dust. In her background note, Karmarkar cites an article in the August 2011 issue of Fast Company, which describes how the EEG patterns indicated "a sense of giddy subversion that consumers enjoy over the messiness of the product." - Forbes

Tweet this: #Neuromarketing: Consumers respond strongly to the fact that eating #Cheetos turns their fingers orange: #marketing

While these emerging types of passive data collection are exciting and hold tremendous promise, marketers often lament their lack of connection with the traditional demographic and attitudinal datasets they rely on for actionable consumer insights. At Vision Critical, we are finding that for many clients the solution is to increasingly leverage their private insight communities as the 'hub' for this expanding dataset. In this fashion, they are able to leverage scalable technology and powerful data management capabilities to convert multi-modal inputs into a holistic understanding of consumer behaviors, attitudes, perceptions and actions.

Indeed, the marketers we are working with are increasingly savvy about the promise of wearable tech and other emerging passive measurement techniques. But they are also looking for enhanced integration with more traditional methods that allow them to validate and contextualize the data they gather. Marketers should be excited about the tools that will support the foundation of research.

How will technology, such as Google Glass, weave itself into the field of research? What are your thoughts on neuromarketing? Let us know in the comments below!

New call-to-action

Text Size

- +

Subscribe & Stay Informed

Can't get enough? Want to be notified as we continue to publish new content? Subscribe now and get insights straight to your inbox.