Watch out smartwatch world, Android Wear is now a thing. Google took to their blog to announce that Android Wear is on its way -- a unified interface for watch-face-sized screens. With wearables like the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Pebble Smartwatch already on the market, a unified Google smartwatch OS could potentially shoot the competition dead in the water. For Android users anyway -- Apple's iOS devices would be left out of the Android Wear fun.
It hasn't been mentioned whether or not Google will be making the hardware for Android Wear or if it will strictly be third party vendors. But between Android Wear and Google Glass, the search company is investing in wearable technology in a big way. The Android Wear video is pretty standard fare of young people using tech to trendy music, but it also lays out some interesting situations. Having notifications on one's wrist may be a bit much for some, but there are some obvious uses for the device. Being able to issue commands to your phone while bike-riding, for example, becomes much less hazardous. As does checking the scores while giving your kids a bath. Some would argue that we should be less attached to our phones constant pinging, not more. If you're gonna be checking your phone though might as well do it in the least obtrusive way possible, right?
A big factor of whether or not users embrace the Google smartwatches will be aesthetics. We personally prefer the circular watch-face over square, but that's just us. We assume the swapping out of watch bands will be supported by any upcoming Android Wear smartwatch devices. The UI of Android Wear seems to be as equally pleasing aesthetically as the device's hardware -- maybe even more so. The full color screen and UI animations certainly beat something like Pebble's e-ink display. We'll see how it lasts on battery power though.
In addition to the Android Wear announcement, manufacturers Motorola and LG have shown off their wearable devices with Android Wear support. Motorola's upcoming device, Moto 360, supports the round design we're oh so fond of and will likely support Android Wear. While it isn't officially mentioned in the video, the announcement of this Google smartwatch is interestingly timed with Android Wear. Given the close ties of Motorola and Google, Moto 360 will likely run the search company's latest OS.
Update 3.19.2014 - Motorola will be holding a Google Hangout talking about everything Moto 360. The lead designer Jim Wicks will be wearing the upcoming device, slated for summer 2014. Check out some of the Hangout below!
The Android Wear powered LG smartwatch, LG "G", goes with the square screen for its face, which may appeal to some. As one of the launch partners of Android Wear, the Nexus phone maker will be one of the first with the new operating system.
At the end of the day we're still in the infancy of this whole wearable craze. With Google I/O 2014 coming up in late June we may some of the devices launched at the conference. Android Wear will be a great addition to the smartwatch arena. Coupling watches that look similar to ones we already wear with Google Now functionality may give many a reason to wear the time piece once again.
Are you looking forward to Android Wear? Do you think the whole wearable tech thing is a fad? Sound off below in the comments!