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How to Use Wearable Tech to Rev Up Your Real-Time Event Social Media

Google Glass? GoPro? Pivothead? All names you should be familiar with if you are involved in social media marketing. We all know about the new wearable tech products, but we may not be familiar with what to do with them yet.

Start by matching the tech to your event needs. Do you need internet access? Live streaming? High definition video? Video setting options?  Once you have your tech lined up for your event, you have the beginning of a portal to bring your social media fans directly into your event.

An Overivew of Tech’s Upsides and Downsides

Each piece has its pros and cons. With Google Glass, its downsides are price, length of video capture, video resolution (720) and more. Upsides are hands-free access to the internet and streaming capabilities. GoPro is strictly a camera with no internet access. Some of the upsides and downsides? The camera perspective is high unless you strap it somewhere besides on your head. You have to be aware of where your eyes are looking as opposed to where your camera is looking. GoPro is becoming the go-to camera for active professional shooters, mostly because of its high picture quality and shot editing features. Pivothead is the newcomer on the block, and at $200 a pair, it is gaining traction. The company has Indiegogo origins and is moving at the speed of light to develop new features. The user interface is clunky, but the picture (1080) and audio quality is good, and they have a large capacity for shooting and saving video, especially with accessories. Live streaming is supposedly coming soon.

Look at Some Good Examples

There are some pretty cool videos already being put together with wearable tech. One of my favorites is the journey of a young filmmaker as he travels across the ocean to announce the upcoming birth of a new baby. The storyline is how the ultrasound makes the trip in his backpack. It was shot over ten days in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, and India by 23-year-old filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty.

Eastern Washington University used Pivothead glasses to create a new YouTube series called “How I See It.” The videos feature student-athletes and coaches wearing the glasses and giving fans a closer-than-firsthand look into an event in their lives.

Pivothead put the glasses on a number of baseball players to show different angles on the same event. A well-done look at multiple perspectives woven together here.

Here is another look at what the possibilities are with Google Glass.

Get Familiar With the Tech

From experience, I would suggest shooting some “experiments” to get used to the tech. You will quickly find out the difference between where you are looking and what the glasses or camera shoot. You should also get a feel for using your head as a camera—quick movements can make your viewers queasy. Take a video of a trip to the grocery store, or a walk or bike ride. Download the video and experiment with shot cuts and how to blend the various clips together for the smoothest view. Remember, your head movement is the key (if you are using glasses or a GoPro strapped to your head). Here is a review on the differences between Google Glass and Pivothead that can give you some tips. It’s the best piece I’ve found online outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

Start With a Storyboard

So once you get your wearable tech down and have experimented with both shooting and editing, how can you use it in an event? Start by taking a look at your event as a story and not a calendar of times. This process will help you identify stories within your bigger story that you can turn into short videos. As an aside, I think that two minutes is plenty long for an event story. Shoot for several less than a minute or so. The motion involved in watching a story can be distracting, so stick to short clips and keep the whole sequence under two minutes.  

Use clips that propel a storyline forward. This can be helped by constructing a traditional storyboard. You can use a multiple-column table for this or you can actually draw out tiles that explain teach piece of the story, the shots, the length, and the location. You are creating a short story much like an author would. You  may want to chronicle the event or you may decide to construct a plot. Preparing a story ahead of time is a must.

Use a Variety of Shots

All these glasses can take stills as well as video, so use a variety of shots from different perspectives. Try having the videographer narrate the scenes. You may or may not use all or any of this in the finished product, but it’s good to have it anyway. If you have multiple pairs of glasses, you can put them on a few different participants. Think of Move-In Day at universities, athletic contests, city festivals, new product launches. It might be fun to use wearable tech stories as social media updates at a conference or man-on-the-street interviews. You  may also want to think in 15-second sequences to fit on Instagram.The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Get the Video Out in Real-Time

For maximum impact, I suggest editing and producing short videos on the fly. Have a computer set up somewhere to edit the clips and drop them into a sequence you can render and promote on social media during the event. It’s a good idea to have a couple pairs of glasses on hand so videographers can drop off one pair to be edited and recharged, and pick up another to go out again to video.

Wearable tech can showcase a new personal perspective on your events. Its strength is definitely real-time and I would suggest putting together a number of them for your YouTube or Vimeo channel to increase the buzz around your events.

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