iBangle Concept Design by designer Gopinath Prasana
If you thought social media is being disruptive in the way it makes traditional ways of marketing and communication obsolete then wait till you get a hint of the next step in tech that’s just round the corner.

Wearable computers, as any 60s Sci-Fi fan will tell you are nothing new, even Dick Tracy had a futuristic wristwatch-phone, before there was even a hint of transistors in the tech horizon and chips were something you ordered with ketchup. We have always imagined a future where tech is all around us, invisible, accessible and ultra-portable, and now it is about to happen.

Dick Tracy wrist radio

Alongside contact lens which will allow you to check your email and project a transparent layer of tech over everything you look at the future looks like it will be made up of portable, connected wearable devices which double as costume jewellery and dress accessories. Phones that are like ear-rings, music players that re like bangles and sunglasses that allow you to surf the web on projected, front-of-eye screens are just some of the developments in the pipeline.

With some of them less than five years away, it does look like the Sci-Fi future of the past is finally here. The disruption caused by that kind of immersion in a transparent bubble of connected tech is almost impossible to predict. The excitement and anticipation generated are such that it makes it easy to overlook the fact that the greatest disruption of all is happening right now. Cell phones have evolved from devices used to make calls, to always on smart-tech platforms which never leave our side.

Most people are woken up by their smartphone which is never far from their bedside table. Smartphone screens monopolize our attention as we make our way through our daily tasks and when we are not talking to someone we are often busy messaging, sending texts, downloading videos, accessing pages or sending emails, all through devices weighing at the most 180 grams.

The impact this is having is being felt on search and the way business is being conducted right now. Google has staked its future on mobile search and pushed out localisation as one of the three main drives shaping SEO in 2012. Mobile devices are being used to access the web on an ever increasing frequency (HelpMySEo content can be accessed by smartphone and tablet through a Google App) and marketing through Apps is re-imagining the way content is accessed as well as the way a business can connect with its customers.

The reason all of this is important is that as a website owner you need to start thinking about mobile search and how it relates to your business, now. You need to start thinking about localisation and how you can use the web to increase the impact of your brand locally and you need to start preparing to reposition your marketing to take advantage of the increased ability of consumers to take advantage of mobile connectivity.

A classic example of the impact this is having is in the shortening of the decision-making process prior to making a purchase with potential customers now seeing something on the shelf, going online, checking prices and reviews and deciding whether to buy it, all within a much shorter time than before and armed with a lot more information than ever.

This kind of change requires fresh thinking and a new way of marketing and it is only those who are able to think without blinkers that will be successful in the years to come.