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Ear to the Ground

Google’s New Android Wear Smartwatches Make Every Other Wearable Look Ugly and Dumb

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Posted on Mar 19, 2014

Motorola

If Google and its hardware partners can deliver on the promise of their new wearable devices, then the war for the hottest new market in technology is already won.

There is no shortage of wearable devices available to consumers, with most taking the form of fitness trackers, some offering more smartphone-like abilities and one that even corrects your posture.

The best, so far, has been Pebble’s Kickstarter-funded watch, which acts primarily as an extension of your phone.

Apple has supposedly been working on its own watch for ages, but problems with battery life have reportedly kept the iWatch from making an appearance.

Enter Google, which adopted the same strategy for wearables that it took with phones: Instead of making your own device, focus on creating an ecosystem.

The result is Android Wear, which debuted Tuesday with two devices (so far) coming this summer from LG and Motorola.

Both run the same software, which is based on Google Now (Android’s answer to Siri). By using a mixture of voice and gesture control, and leaning heavily on Google’s creepy-accurate knowledge of everything about you to predict what you want to see and when, Android Wear seems like the smartest of smartwatches.

LG’s watch looks interesting for software reasons, but the real star of the show is Motorola’s Moto 360, which looks like a classic and classy timepiece. It’s got the beauty and the brains.

There are huge questions that need to be answered. How good is the voice interactivity? How much will it cost? What is battery life like? If the answers are “acceptable,” “not a fortune” and “decent,” then consider it purchased. That is unless Apple has something better than a glorified iPod Nano in mind.

 

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
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