Samsung has already done it with its product Gear. Now Google is following into the relatively young market of smartwatches, which are promising to be the next big thing, when it announced its Android Wear platform on Tuesday.
Android Wear will include all sorts of wearable gadgets but will start with smartwatches. The market for smartwatches is gaining strength and the clock is ticking for all competitors. Along with Samsung and Google, which will work with Motorola for its watches, Microsoft and Apple are also already working to come up with their offerings.
To get an idea of just how competitive the market is at the moment for wearable gadgets, consider this: Google announced the coming of Android Wear SDK (software development kit) on March 9. Samsung released its Tizen SDK on March 17. One day later, today, Google posted a preview of its Android Wear SDK via a blog. The market is hot and Samsung and Google clearly want to attract developers.
Meanwhile, other device makers such as LG Electronics, fashion accessory maker Fossil Group, Asus and HTC are also in talks with Google to come up with their own android smartwatches.
Separately, Motorola also announced the Moto 360, which will be based on Android Wear, and will be released in the coming summer. Apple is also set to launch its version of the smartwatch later this year.
According to the video blog that Google released, the watches look less obnoxious and conspicuous and will have different shapes. While one model is likely to be round, others would be rectangles and squares. This highlights that Google has plans to simultaneously come up with more models than one.
Moreover, until now, smartwatches have mostly been restricted to alerting the user of an incoming call or other alerts such as an appointment. The new gadgets by Google will do much more. For example, just by saying “OK Google,” users will be able to play music and start Web searches. Among other tasks, it may help you to pull up your airline boarding pass right on your wrist or make restaurant reservations.
The smartwatches will also have a virtual assistance, called Google Now, at your service. Google Now will learn all the preferences and routines of the user so that it can immediately show all important information automatically with just a mere glance at the watch.
Gadget lovers are delighted with the options they will now have in smartwatches. Owner of Samsung’s Gear, Farrukh Malik, 37, already knows the comfort of owning a smartwatch. “I am in love with my Gear and to have Google come up with a better version of what I have is awesome!” he said in an email.
Malik lives in Pakistan, where the prices of most electronic gadgets are exorbitantly high based on the dollar-rupee parity. “With more options in the market, the companies will get into a price war and the products will become cheaper. That will be a huge advantage for us. The difference of a few tens in dollars means thousands of rupees for us. This is real good news,” he wrote in his email.
Similarly, consumers in the US are looking forward to smartwatches too. “When Samsung came out with its smartwatch, I knew we could expect more of similar accessories. I do not own one at the moment, but if Google comes up with something, I think I will buy it,” said Aaron Brown in a telephone conversation.
Sally Adams, voiced similar views when she said that although she does not own any such gadget as yet, “if it becomes common like Bluetooth headsets did once upon a time,” she would eventually own one. Consumers said they expect Google Android Wear smartwatches would be the next big thing and they were excited about the way technology is evolving for the better.
By Faryal Najeeb