Coffee Offer Mockup, Updated Jan 5th, 17:22 PST

The platform leverages Innovative Ad Formats, hyper-local targeting and Apple Pay to deliver great brand experiences to consumers.

San Francisco, Jan 4th, 2015 - Continuing its lead in wearables, TapSense, a leading mobile ad exchange, today announced the industry’s first programmatic ad platform for Apple Watch. The platform provides full suite of solutions for developers and brands to get started on the new Apple Watch platform including SDK for app developers and programmatic APIs for brands, agencies, and marketers.

“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.”

As per Apple, the Apple Watch represents a new chapter in the relationship people have with technology. We believe that it also provides an opportunity for brands and industry at large to get rid of banner ads and innovate around user experiences for increasingly intimate and miniature devices. The TapSense platform for Apple Watch delivers such experiences through convergence of Apple WatchKit and other mobile technologies:

  • Interactive Formats that go beyond banner ads - Banner ads have been around for over 20 years. However, as the screen sizes have become smaller with smartphones and now with smartwatches, cramming a banner ad in a small screen interface leads to a poor user experience. The TapSense SDK leverages new interactive interfaces supported by Apple WatchKit such as watch faces, glances & full-screen experiences while getting rid of banner ads.

  • Hyper-local targeting – Even though hyper-local targeting has been the holy grail of mobile advertising, it has yet to catch consumer’s attention. We think it’s primarily due to the fact that users have to take their phones out of their pocket and unlock it before interacting with a local notification. Being worn on the wrist, an Apple Watch is more accessible and can leverage the GPS on an iPhone. This makes it an ideal device to deliver contextual and hyper-local offers such as a retail store coupon.

  • Apple Pay Integration – As Apple Watch has full integration with Apple Pay, the hyper-local coupons delivered through the TapSense platform can be redeemed by the consumer right from the convenience of their wrist. As this reduces friction for the consumer, we believe this will have huge impact on brand lift and engagement. Also, marketers would be able to link their marketing spend accurately with offline purchases, which has been a difficult problem to solve until now.

 “For an iOS developer, Apple WatchKit provides familiar tools and APIs as well as exciting new user interactions such as Glances and Force Push. Developing an app for the watch is the same as writing any iOS extension,” said Amit Manjhi, Co-Founder & CTO of TapSense. Bookkeeping “We can’t wait to see all the cool apps that developers build and how they leverage the TapSense platform for Apple Watch. ”

By combining innovative formats that go beyond banner ads, hyper-local targeting capabilities and Apple Pay with its existing mobile programmatic platform, TapSense is providing a complete stack of programmatic solutions for brands to reach a mobile consumer, whether they are on their smartphones, tablets or smartwatches.

Update, Jan 5th, 2015 22:03 PST - Both Apple’s WatchKit SDK and the TapSense SDK are in Beta and APIs are subject to change. As and when Apple makes the WatchKit guidelines available, we will review it carefully to ensure our SDK is both in compliance and approved by Apple. Couple clarifications and corrections:

  • We’re announcing a programmatic platform which will allow you to have your ads displayed on Apple Watch
  • The post inaccurately mentions support for watch faces. Currently, the WatchKit SDK doesn’t provide developer access to watch faces.
  • Although Apple Pay integration with Apple Watch is a great convenience for the consumer, the TapSense SDK will not integrate directly with Apple Pay. To redeem a coupon from an ad, it would need to have a readable barcode that can be scanned at the point of sale, or the ad could be added to Passbook and then delivered to Apple Watch to be redeemed.

About TapSense

TapSense is a leading independent mobile advertising exchange, and has been featured in publications including Forbes, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, GigaOM, CMO.com, MediaPost, Entrepreneur, and AdExchanger. Founded in 2011 and based in San Francisco, California, TapSense investors include top Silicon Valley venture firms, Ron Conway’s SV Angel and Webb Investment Network by Maynard Webb, a board member of Salesforce and Yahoo. TapSense was named one of the 2014 AlwaysOn Global 100 Companies to Watch.