Wearable computer company invests €2m to grow Irish firms


21 May 2009

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An Irish company that happens to be one of the world’s leading providers of wearable computer devices is to offer €2m-worth of its latest technology to help struggling businesses stimulate consumer demand.

“The lack of consumer confidence is leading to stagnation in the retail, motor and hospitality sectors,” explained Simon Crisp, CEO, Adwalker.

“It is in all of our interests to get activity going again. Our units have a proven track record in stimulating sales for all types of business. Therefore, we want to invest in Ireland by offering our units free of charge,” Crisp explained.

The company has just unveiled the next generation of its digital wearable product named Gen:3.

The latest version of the product resembles a sleek, oversized iPod – something that is designed to attract the attention of consumers everywhere. Adwalker, an indigenous Irish technology company, has spent the past two years developing the latest version of its popular product.

Wearable technology has increased in interest in recent months, not only as more R&D takes place in the sector, but also as more companies are looking for increasingly efficient and innovative ways to convey their company message and sell their products directly to consumers.

Acknowledging the challenges currently being experienced by most businesses selling to the consumer sector at this time, Adwalker has decided to offer the first 2,000 units of its product free of charge to companies who can use it to help stimulate consumer demand and drive direct sales,.

Adwalker anticipates the Irish market will take up to 400 units of the global 2,000 allocation.

Previously Adwalker’s wearable computer has had an exceptional track record of directly targeting consumers and driving demand for client businesses in the US, across Europe and in Ireland.

“In times of recession, businesses, ourselves included, need to use innovative means to drive sales,” said Crisp.

“Consumers have lost their confidence and need to be encouraged to avail of the value and bargains that are currently available in almost all sectors of the market. If we can help to encourage consumers to re-engage in the economy, we can help to shorten the tenure of the downturn. We hope that by offering our patented product at no cost, we will encourage people to use a proven tool for generating consumer demand.

“In recent times, our clients have experienced success from the use of our wearable technology. Through Adwalker, Sears in the US engaged directly with over three million potential customers and distributed almost a quarter of a million coupons within a 20-day period. Similarly, it generated 25,000 qualified sales leads for US group Reynolds over a 10-day period.

“Closer to home 9,500 coupons were downloaded by retail customers in a three-day period in Letterkenny Shopping Centre. This indicates that when consumers are prompted, they are interested in engaging with the retail sector and parting with some money,” Crisp said.

The wearable unit allows companies to show their message and then demonstrate a website, take an order, print out coupons or vouchers and sign up customers.

As part of its launch of the new system, the company also outlined its new business model. While the first 2,000 units distributed will be available at no cost, there will be a small fee associated with activating the unit.

This will be under €10 per day and there is no limit to the amount of days or hours that the system can be in use. The retail price of each free unit is expected to be around €5,000 in the future.

By John Kennedy

 Pictured: Adwalker in operation in Times Square, New York