The Growth of Biometrics in Advertising: Exciting or Invasive?

When Apple introduced its iWatch in 2015, some of the most exciting capabilities included features that are able to track the biometric qualities of the wearer, including heartbeat, acceleration, and temperature. While these features are advertised as fitness-related benefits, many are seeing possibilities with these technologies in advertising. Marketers can test different ad campaigns with the ability not only to learn the viewer’s vocal reaction, but also be given insights into how they are reacting internally, based on their physical changes.

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Both biometrics and wearable technologies are hugely expanding markets, and some companies have already taken this technology and adapted it into their own products. TomTom, for example, has introduced an action camera that can mark places in the video deemed most “exciting” through the use of an optional heart-rate monitor. These spots are specially marked within the Bandit Action Camera and make editing and uploading content in real-time more mobile and convenient than ever before.

Two companies, specifically – Mindshare and Lightwave – have teamed up at the forefront of this creative branch of advertising analytics, envisioning biometric technologies as a way for companies to tailor consumer experiences in real-time. Jeff Malmad, head of mobile and the wearables unit at Mindshare North America said, “Being able to get the data from the watch and the phone simultaneously and create better and more adaptive experiences is something that’s just going to grow in importance for brands” [Source].

As popular as wearable tech has become (see the Infographic below for proof!), one can’t help but have privacy concerns regarding the experiences some devices are proposing. The consented-to analyzing of bodily responses to ad campaigns is one thing, but the fear of getting fired if your boss finds out about your high blood pressure has an almost “Big Brother” feel to it.

How soon do you think we will be eating at restaurants with lighting that changes with the mood of the diners? And maybe more importantly – isn’t that a little creepy?Untitled

[Infographic Source]

[Source]