Smart Watches May Lend a Big Hand to Mobile Marketing

As rumors swirl that Apple will soon release an iOS-powered smart watch affectionately dubbed iWatch by the bustling tech blogosphere, other leading names in mobile technology aren’t being so secretive about their plans to release a similar product.

Earlier this week MMW reported that Samsung has now confirmed plans for the company to market what will likely be an Android-powered smart watch. “We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” said Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”

On Friday, Google’s purported work on a forthcoming smart watch was chronicled by the Financial Times, while The Korea Times suggested that electronics maker LG is doing the same on a smart watch of its own.

So with all these connected wrist watches about to enter the marketplace, how long before mobile marketing finds a new home on the typical consumer’s wrist? My bet is not long.

Smart watches could open up an entirely new market for mobile marketing and even mobile payments. As more details emerge, we’ll have a better idea of how smart watches could lend a big hand to these and other emerging industries under the rubric of mobile.

According to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, wearable computing devices could eventually replace the iPhone and other top smartphones over the next decade.

With speculation rampant that these smart watches will be NFC-enabled and offer 4G connectivity (as well as WiFi Internet access), the consumer retail experience will undoubtedly be impacted. From location-based targeted ads hitting your wrist to contactless payment options for that quick grocery store run, the possibilities are endless both for consumers and marketers.

So will mobile marketing become a mainstay of smart watches? It’s only a matter of time.

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