Print 17 comment(s) - last by Aloonatic.. on Mar 24 at 4:00 PM

Google is ready to take on smartwatches

With the smartphone and tablet markets reaching saturation, it appears that wearable technology is the next battlefront. Sony has dabbled in this market for quite some time with its first and second generation SmartWatch, while Samsung largely failed with its Android-based, first generation Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Samsung, however, is looking to right the ship with the more efficient, Tizen-based Gear 2.
And we can’t forget that heavy-hitters like Apple and Microsoft are also rumored to be testing the waters when it comes to wearable technology.
Not to be left out, Google wants to make sure that it is poised to take advantage of the burgeoning market. Today, the search giant announced its Android Wear initiative that represents an Android-based mobile operating system specifically tailored for wearable devices — namely smartwatches.

Android Wear will provide users with access to the vast catalog of Android apps and will accept voice commands similar to those used on the Moto X and Google Glass. For example, users can simply say “Ok Google” to send a text, make reservations at a restaurant, or even pull up calendar information.
Naturally, Android Wear provides a platform for health and fitness monitoring in real-time. Google has also opened up a new Developer Preview site to allow developers to modify their existing applications to be compatible with the Android Wear platform.

The first announced product to embrace Android Wear is the LG G Watch that will launch in Q2 according to Engadget. "The opportunity to work with Google on LG G Watch was the perfect chance for LG to really pull out all stops in both design and engineering," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, CEO of LG's Mobile Communications division. "We're confident that a well-designed device has the potential to take the smart wearable market by storm."

LG G Watch [Image Source: Engadget]
Other device manufacturers that will jump on the Android Wear bandwagon include Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung along with chipmakers like Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm.

Sources: Google, Engadget

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I dont get this push
By peterrushkin on 3/18/2014 1:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
I stopped wearing watches 15 years ago. Having something on my wrist full-time just seems off to me now. I only wear a watch when I go out or to a meeting and that expensive watch is an extension of status.

I don't think this will be something the market will pick up and run with.

RE: I dont get this push
By venym76 on 3/18/2014 1:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the push is that eventually the only phone you have is the one on your wrist. By pushing companion devices they can test the water to see how people respond to it. Wearable tech is where things should be going at this point. The concept of having a brick phone to carry around is out dated.

RE: I dont get this push
By FaaR on 3/18/14, Rating: 0
RE: I dont get this push
By Murloc on 3/19/2014 5:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
yeah but they can try, then one day the tech will be there to make it a mass market thing, even if we have to wait until there are holographic displays.
The watch with the calculator didn't sell much either I'm sure, but it's not like it bankrupted the company.
You try until it works, waste some money, or you get left behind.

RE: I dont get this push
By KFZ on 3/18/2014 2:03:09 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on wearable tech but the watch, as it appears today, is far too small a form factor to be of any significant value. Today's phones make so much more sense as a do-all device.

What's more, this watch looks extremely tacky, not as bad as Glass but not much better than those old digital watches with the cheap calculator built into it. We will look back on this watch just as we do that novelty device.

If this form factor is going to catch on we will need to see a niche successfully carve out. It better be priced for its shortcomings. Still it won't be a phone-killer. It will take revolutionary breakthroughs in many areas until a freaking wrist strap can replace your iPhone.

RE: I dont get this push
By Drafter on 3/18/2014 5:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're speaking for yourself when you envision a future where people have their smart tech attached to their bodies full-time. I like being able to compartmentalize that "brick" into or out of my life at my discretion.

What's really going on here by my observation is the smart phone market is saturated so they are trying to create a new smart device market.

RE: I dont get this push
By kamiller422 on 3/18/2014 1:47:27 PM , Rating: 2
Same boat. However, have you seen the Moto 360? In metal? I'll regularly wear that.

RE: I dont get this push
By stm1185 on 3/18/2014 2:03:36 PM , Rating: 4
It's just high tech jewelry. It's not meant to be something of actual purpose, but a indicator of status.

I have a gold iPhone and a gold iWatch and a gold iGlass, GET ON MY LEVEL KID.

RE: I dont get this push
By inighthawki on 3/18/2014 2:20:25 PM , Rating: 3
Pff, your devices aren't diamond encrusted? Noob.

RE: I dont get this push
By stm1185 on 3/18/2014 3:26:50 PM , Rating: 2
If Diamonds arent on the iPhone then clearly you are doing your devices wrong.

RE: I dont get this push
By retrospooty on 3/18/2014 2:33:12 PM , Rating: 1
"I don't get the push - I don't think this will be something the market will pick up and run with. "

Yup... It seems alot like OEM's are trying to push a new market segment into existence by creating buzz where buzz doesnt exist. Everyone "talking up" smartwatches is either OEM's or software companies... There seems to be little public interest. It does less than your smartphone and has a smaller screen... OK, we already all have our smartphones, so the need just isnt there. Maybe good for running/exercising, but other than that, what?

RE: I dont get this push
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2014 4:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
I don't wearing watches either. However these same kinds of arguments were made against the Smartphone years ago, and we all see how that went.

I'm content with waiting this out and watching how it goes, before making any bold predictions.

I only wear a watch when I go out or to a meeting and that expensive watch is an extension of status.

Well in the realm of "expensive" watches, these smart watches are practically a bargain. People pay far more for a dumb watch that sits there, looks pretty, but only tells time.

Just devils advocate.

RE: I dont get this push
By Samus on 3/19/2014 2:20:08 AM , Rating: 2
In a few years, when technology catches up, you'd still rather carry a phone over a watch that has the same core functions (phone, SMS, navigation, browsing, camera, music, etc?)

Because it's pretty obvious to me at this point the wrist watch is going to kill the cell phone, much how the cell phone killed the wrist watch.

RE: I dont get this push
By Aloonatic on 3/24/2014 2:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're wrong, but maybe as you might be thinking of a phone-watch, rather than a smart-watch. I have a Pebble smart-watch, and it's a great little light weight watch. It is just a smart watch though, you wont see my talking into my wrist as that doesn't appeal to me at all.

Mostly, my Pebble means that I can leave my phone in my pocket, or on my desk and still use it to a certain extent. I can see receive and read texts, control my media player, see who's calling and reject phone calls, see data from apps like running apps, and probably do more, all without having to trouble my pocket. It's also a fun little thing that you can play with, download watch faces, view the usual (arguably useless) weather apps (that are of as little use on your phone, but every phone has one) and play games. Maybe it's because I'm old enough to see and play snake with more than a little nostalgia that I find it so much fun.

Anyway, my Pebble is really a first generation smart watch too and there will be many more uses found for such devices, things that we can no more anticipate now than we could anticipate how those early mobile phones would lead to the smartphones we have now.

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