Where is Wearable Computing Ware Going?: Page 2

Apple and Google have sparked speculation about the future of wearable computing. But is it real?
Posted December 21, 2011
By

Mike Elgan


(Page 2 of 2)

Let me give you four scenarios for watching a YouTube video -- three that exist today and one that does not:

The first scenario is an old and familiar one: You download and watch a YouTube video on a Mac.

The second scenario is that you launch a YouTube video on your Mac, but push it out through Apple TV.

The third scenario is pretty new: You watch a YouTube video on TV launched from iPhone using the iPhone's AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV feature.

The fourth scenario doesn't exist yet. You launch a YouTube video from Apple TV using Siri commands on your iWatch. The video is actually "provisioned" by your Mac and its Internet connection.

If you can imagine the fourth scenario, you can also imagine playing music on your home audio systems by Siri command spoken into your iWatch, or controlling all kinds of home devices.

We already know that Apple is using iCloud to integrate its product. This integration will become ever more seamless to the point where all your iDevices will function as a single distributed gadget. Plugging a Siri wristwatch into the mix is a no-brainer.

Why Google’s Glasses Won’t Happen Anytime Soon

The news about Google's wearable device sounds more far-flung (and far off in the future) than Apple's. The reason is that Google will probably have trouble convincing millions of people to wear glasses on their face designed by Google.

The idea of Google glasses reminds me of the idiotic "Java Ring" concept floated by Sun Microsystems in the late 1990s: an embedded chip in a finger ring that would provide identity information to replace passwords and biometric access. The belief that people would actually buy jewelry from Sun Microsystems could only come from someone completely clueless about, well, about human beings.

Eventually — say, in ten years — it's conceivable that Google's technology could be built into regular glasses designed and built by glasses companies. But most of the people who would be willing anytime soon to actually wear clunky, heads-up display glasses with buttons on the side designed by Google probably already work at Google.

Having said that, I believe that Google will tweak Android to function on wristwatch phones.

These will probably be less elegant and integrated with other devices than Apple's. But the watches themselves will probably be a lot more powerful and capable, will connect to the Internet directly, make phone calls and may even run third-party apps.

Like the iWatch, Google's watch platform will probably be optimized for voice command.

Why? Because it makes sense, Apple will probably validate the product category and because Google could easily do this.

So are we entering into a new age of wearable devices? Not really. But I do think we’ll see the nano upgraded with Bluetooth and the ability to convey Siri commands and results back and forth from a phone. And I do think Android will support wrist phones.

And that’s pretty cool.


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Tags: Google, Apple, wearable computing


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