TapSense Announces Platform to Bring Contextual Ads to Apple Watch [Updated]

tapsense_apple_watch_adAmidst the new and upcoming product launches at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, mobile marketing firm TapSense today unveiled its plans for a "programmatic ad platform" targeting Apple's upcoming wearable, the Apple Watch.

The platform is promised to provide a full suite of programming solutions, including an SDK for app developers and programmatic APIs for brands, to get them started on making advertisements for the new Apple Watch. Though the platform not yet released, TapSense hopes the service provides businesses with a proof-of-concept demonstration on how ads can be delivered to customers using the new technology.

“Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) are the next frontiers in the mobile revolution. We are excited to announce industry’s first programmatic ad platform for Apple Watch developers and brands. ” said Ash Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO of TapSense. “While most of our competitors are focused on banner ads and legacy platforms, we are focused on innovation and next generation platforms. Apple Watch has the potential to be a category disruptor similar to iPod or iPhone and we believe that it provides great opportunities for brands and developers to deliver engaging experiences to consumers.”

With no official comment by Apple on how ads will officially integrate with the new technology, third-party developers using the WatchKit SDK will be left to fill in the blank spaces.

As highlighted by Reuters, brands and ad firms are mainly looking at delivering ad content through interactive wallpapers found on the Watch dial. TapSense chief executive Ash Kumar is well aware of toeing the line between informative and annoying, however, noting that businesses could use the customizable face of the Apple Watch to notify customers of special deals, but only ever within an already-open app.

[M]oderation is key. Push notifications and banner ads on smartphones can be turn-offs. Some marketers advise avoiding showing ads to users who typically click out of them or delivering the same ad too many times to any one user.

"If it feels like your smartwatch is turning into a spam box, you will take it off," said Padden Guy Murphy, who heads business development and public policy at car-sharing service Getaround.

TapSense points to "hyper-local targeting" and Apple Pay integration as allowing for consumer-friendly versions of ads on the Apple Watch. The former suggests that because the Watch is far more accessible on a user's wrist than a phone is in a pocket and that it uses a tethered iPhone's GPS, this makes it a more ideal device to deliver location-based coupons and ads in more meaningful ways, such as an ad for a car service while a customer browses transit delays.

The latter perspective argues that most coupons and offers simply aren't redeemed due to hassle, and thinks that Apple's one-two punch of the Watch and Apple Pay could result in more ease of use in coupon-redeeming on the consumer side, and higher profits on the business side.

Still a few months out from release of the Apple Watch, TapSense's visions of a well-received ad platform, by consumers and businesses alike, is a ways off from fruition. As Jeff Malmad, North American mobile director at media agency Mindshare, pointed out to Reuters, the new platform will also need to cover some similar ground that smartphones have tread over the past few years, particularly in regards to allowing users to opt in to the ads they care about, and block the ones they don't.

Update: TapSense has backtracked on its own press release, noting that its ad platform may or may not comply with Apple's rules, which remain in flux. The update also notes that Apple's WatchKit SDK does not include support for watch faces as proposed for the ad platform and that TapSense can not integrate directly with Apple Pay.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
75 months ago
Andddddd this killed the Apple Watch for me.
Score: 76 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
This is fantastic news! Soon the rich, entertaining world of advertisments will be coming to wearables like the iWatch. Ads will be more personal and relevant than ever before!

This will improve lives by ensuring that us consumers are better connected to brands. I can't wait!
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
Presumably, no one will be forced to use any ad-supported software on the Apple Watch, but just the concept of it is horribly off-putting.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
Dear TapSense,

I think I speak for all of us when I say 'Go ******* yourselves'.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
This is amazing news! Just what I always wanted. Why wouldn't I want ads when I want to see the time?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
god no
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....