In a world where we are surrounded by technology every day it continues to be major surprises that surprise me. More recently I watched the appearance of a new category of devices that promises to bring us more functionality and practicality, the wearables. The wearables are technology that you wear, literally. This is not recent I know, wearables like Google Glass are with us for over a year and we already see various smartwatches from known OEMs like Samsung and Sony and from others not so known like Pebble.
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In the beginning of last year, many people look at the rumors and thought that 2013 would be the year of the smartwatch, then I see the release of Pebble watch and the Galaxy Gear and I saw that despite of the innovations there was still a couple of troubles that needed to be resolved. And these may be the reasons that smartwatches were not so popular as expected.
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This year, Pebble launched the Pebble Steel that brought some improvements over the original Pebble and Samsung launched a series of new Gear watches (Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit) but then, when nobody was expecting, Google presented to us the new Android Wear.
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Android Wear is an operating system dedicated to smartwatches. Google Now is fully integrated on Android Wear and it has features like SMS notifications, mail notifications, etc.
On the videos below you can see the Android Wear and its features in action:
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There’s a lot to talk about of what these videos show and it shows so much interesting features that just gives me the desire to buy one of these smartwatches right now! But I have to wait until Summer to see these devices coming out.
After the initial excitement I started thinking. A lot of these features are based on Google Now and that’s why I wrote this piece, it’s really worth it a smartwatch “Powered by Goggle”?
On the videos we can see that voice commands are the main factor to control most of what we can do and unfortunately these commands are not recognized in many languages.
Voice Actions are supported in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese, but certain commands may not be available in each language.
This quote from Google shows my worries. In my country voice actions on my phone do not work on my native language, so I started using in English but, even so, not all the commands are supported in my country and these problems occurs in other countries too.
So if you want to use voice commands and you are not familiar with those supported languages you can´t give the deserved use to this type of device.
But what if I don´t want to use voice commands, what am I missing?
- SMS replies;
- All the Google Now features available through voice commands;
- And finally Home automation (this is a feature that I believe we’ll see in the future
- remember the Nest acquisition?).
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So, what I do not lose?
- Reminders (see them
- not making them);
- Fitness tracking;
- Directions (but you can’t search a place by voice);
- Calendar appointments.
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So it depends on the use that every single person will give to a smartwatch that will decide if it’s really worth to buy an Android Wear devide for them.
I hope Google expands, in the near future, the supported languages and keeps inovating because what I’m seeing here is just phenomenal and I can’t wait to see more.
If you want to know what devices are presented on the videos, they are the Moto 360 (the rounded one, made by Motorola) and the LG G Watch (the square one, made by LG).
Others are expected to release a smartwatch of this kind (Samsung, HTC and Asus).
So what are your thoughts? Would you buy a smartwatch with Android Wear? Leave a comment down below.