We’re talking about wearables: the electronic devices we first saw as fiction in programs like Star Trek. Many wearables have become household names like the Apple and Samsung smart watches, and of course the Fitbit product line. Although these may be some of the bigger names, there are a host of other companies designing their own wearable technology. Some of these are developed with specialized uses to meet specific needs, while others operate for everyday use.

Many of these devices are now able to monitor our body’s overall well-being, track this data, and report it back to us. With all this data comes new ways for marketers to begin reaching these tech savvy consumers.

Some companies believe that one of the best ways to tap into this emerging market is through sports and all the marketable possibilities for wearable technology in that industry. Focusing on the athlete in particular, wearable products are already in use that allow athletes to track their workouts and report results back to them, however there are also companies designing products with the fan in mind.  With all of the global hype around the Euro Cup, a European soccer tournament, one company thought this was a perfect time to unveil their wearable jerseys: the Alert shirt. The Alert shirt allows fans to have an in-game feel while watching at home or in the stadium. This shirt allows the wearer to actually feel all of the physicality that their chosen player feels throughout the game.  A product like this now gives marketers new concepts to consider when working with retail.  Not only will fans want the jerseys of their favorite teams and players but they may now also look forward to a more immersive experience.

Though there are a wide variety of applications for wearables, healthcare is the area where wearable products have been thriving. Statistics show a market worth $5.1 billion in 2015 predicted to grow to $18.9 billion in 2020. With the massive amount of data being collected from these devices, especially in the healthcare space, advertisers may eventually be able to access to non-identifiable data sourced from wearables to better target their ads. Beyond this thinking, advertisers may also be able to gather trends data on consumers’ daily health habits. Eventually this should be able to help the advertiser build consumer models to better targeting consumers who are not using wearable products.

It is clear wearable technology affects the way many of us go about our daily lives. From fun features to more serious health monitoring,if wearables turn out to be anything like mobile technology then all advertisers should be highly interested in the progress of this industry.