Blog Post: How Does Android Wear Improve Wearables?


Building for the sake of being first is a recipe for disaster. Only when we see the true value of the product can we see the tipping point towards behavior and purchases changing for good. Malcolm Gladwell, Jim Collins and Seth Godin made careers writing about that very subject. Apple has made billions with that philosophy.

While I’m not in them, I used their words to describe every piece of wearable technology until now. Google Wear might just get me to see real value in the product category.

By now, you’ve seen the glamor shots on social media and news sites about Google’s version of Android geared towards wearables. While marketing is talking about what the OS could be versus what it actually does, it’s the promise of future innovation that has me actually thinking of purchasing a device.

The Moto 360, to be specific. LG, for all the elegance of the Nexus line of devices, seems content to make the same square junk that Pebble and Samsung have already flung at the market. Motorola’s offering, though, seems to get what we actually need a smart watch to do. It’s not another gesture or interaction to view notifications either.

I simply look, speak, and get back to what I was doing.

In this promotional video, that’s the first thing that stood out. If I wanted to look at photos, capture video or check my calendar, I would pull out my phone. Many of my emails will also require a keyboard (actual or virtual). However, if I wanted to capture data about my fitness, respond to a text from my wife, or remind myself to take out the recycling when I get home, there’s no need to touch anything.

Just tell my watch to do it.

Part of me doesn’t even want to touch the interface. I know there are some experiences that will absolutely require a touch or swipe, but part of the fatal flaw of all smart watches to date is it requires two hands to still use. One for holding and one for interacting. I might as well use my phone then.

The question will be can Android Wear be used with other brands of phones. I have no desire to change from an iPhone at this time, but if the open integration will pull all my notifications (for comparable apps and APIs of course) they might have just sold another device. Might not even need to wait and see what Apple has to offer. It’s that good.

Google Now makes lives that much better. While a Nexus 5 does that already, I can see my wife being more comfortable with checking traffic or notifications from my wrist rather than a larger device.

Consider me officially intrigued.


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