As wearable technology advances, thanks to research conducted by companies like Epitomical – an ambitious company that focuses on rapidly advancing technologies designed to build innovative products and services through technology – and educational institutions like Georgia Tech, some of the most popular digital technology companies in the world are beginning to stand up and take notice especially when it comes to smartwatches. Unlike the success of smartphones and tablets that took some organisations (e.g. Microsoft) by surprise, the stage seems set for the mother of all battles between two of the 21st century’s digital heavyweights i.e. Apple and Google. Although there have been some suggestions that smartwatch technology will not be adopted by consumers, these giants are not prepared to take chances, instead they want to drive this “next” digital revolution to the next level. In this article, we will take a brief look at some of the features of Google’s Android Wear operating system as opposed to what we can expect from Apple’s smartwatch system that is expected to be announced on 9 September 2014.
Google Android Wear
The launch of Google Android Wear operating system marked the adoption, by Google, of wearable technology. The operating system, launched especially for smartwatches, was showcased revealed what the OS would actually look like. Among the key features of the Google’s smartwatch is a fitness element that provides users with real-time speed, distance and time information measurement during active exercise. In addition, users are able to take advantage of its instant notification system, perform voice searches, or connect to bigger Android devices via its multi-screen functionality. Already, top electronics companies such as LG, HTC, and Motorola are queueing up to manufacture and ship in greater quantity thereby making the Google-operated smartwatch device available to the wider market.
While still mostly speculation, Apple is expected to unveil wearable smartwatch devices in their next major event scheduled for 9 September. The rumour is widespread and there has been no major denial from the organisation regarding this growing speculation. The product dubbed “iWatch” by enthusiasts is expected to come with a Health Kit and Home Kit which will enable users to not only track the progress of their health and fitness programs using its 10 attached sensors, but also control their smart devices remotely. According to major news organisations including the Wall Street Journal, Apple’s smartwatch will come in various sizes and a 2.5-inch screen.
Considering the features and counter-features of both sets of wearable devices, it is still uncertain whether they will be as successful as the original smartphone and tablet devices. In spite of the uncertainties, however, their relative success, like many other devices, will mostly depend on the average consumer and affordability.