The anticipation is building for consumers wishing to buy the new Google Smartwatch. Originally, consumers were under the impression that shipments can be expected by late March; this has changed, however, and now rumors have leaked from insiders stating that the smartwatch shipment date may be pushed back until June. There is also a possibility that the watch may end up shipping with a smaller feature set and incomplete. It is hard to tell as none of the information has been fully confirmed.
Google has been very secretive about the details of the prototype which have been kept inside a high-security building. None of the watches have been taken out as precaution to avoid details of their features becoming public. Some sources claim they have information on the first prototypes. The band on the watch was apparently a pebble steel-like metal and the face was square with a colorful digital display. Other claims by insiders describe the smartwatch as having a masculine look overall, but a full-color display on top of a gradient background.
Many other sources are saying Google explored numerous options for the band for the initial release but eventually decided on the plastic one. Much like the initial rumored prototype, the new smartwatches will have a full-color LCD background that is described as looking like a cheap smartphone.
The idea around the watch is convenience. Google wants customers to have a device that fits on them naturally so that users will not have to dig out their phones for every phone call, alert or text message. The information will simply be there for them on their wrists.
Dropping or losing a device that is strapped to a wrist is much less likely than a phone, so the smartwatch may also prevent certain thefts. Supposedly the watch will be designed to be very gesture-driven, meaning that all movements to check messages and alerts will be of a natural swipe motion. The software for the watch supports notifications made through Bluetooth LE pairing with Android smartphones.
Rumors state the watch will support Google Now Alerts which can include personalized information such as flight times, traffic, weather, stock updates, meetings, sport scores and reminders. And other rumours say that the new smartwatch is meant to be an accessory of sorts to the Android smartphone, rather than a standalone device.
Google has certainly created a big buzz surrounding the smartwatch; it is estimated by analysts that the smart band segment will reach 8 million shipments in 2014 alone. By 2015, it is estimated that shipments will grow to 23 million, and to reach 45 million by 2017. Smartwatches seem to be the way of the future as Apple is also rumoured to be working on an iWatch but it may be more of a health tracker compared to the smartwatches.
Samsung has also jumped on the bandwagon as they released the Galaxy Gear. Unfortunately, reviews were not entirely positive and the return rate is estimated to be quite high.
One limitation with the smartwatch experienced by consumers is a short battery life. Features sets are limited as well, which could be a deterrent for some users but only time will tell. One thing is certain, if rumors are true about the newest smartwatch to hit the market, Google is sure to make a big impression and hopefully leave a lot of smartwatch fans satisfied.
By Lian Morrison