The Android Wear: The Wearable Smartphone

The Android Wear: The Wearable Smartphone

Wearable technology has always been a fun concept. Movies and television as far back as the 1950s and 1960s had various characters wearing TV watches, or radio communicators on their wrists or in their belt-buckles. It was always reserved for the spies or the spacemen, and I remember thinking how cool I would be if I could just talk to my watch and it would connect me with who I wanted to speak to like Star Trek or any other bit of Sci-Fi I loved.

Now, technology has finally caught up. The Android Wear is, at it’s core, a watch, worn like any other watch. However, powered by Google and a version of the Android software found on Android phones, Wear is so much more than a watch. All with a glance and a few words, Wear can organize your information and offer suggestions to your current situation, often based on where it detects you to currently be and what you may be doing. The intuitive nature of Wear allows it to center in on your actions and predict what you may require, before you even ask. Messages from friends and family, calender notifications and updates from your favorite websites are all there for you to see, with just a glance.

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Wear is powered by Google, the powerhouse behind Android, and orbits it’s functionality around Google Now, Android’s response to Apple’s Siri. With the ability to respond to any sort of message received purely through voice and the ability to get direct answers for nearly any question you may have, it is apparent that Wear may be what gives Google Now some muscle in a voice-activated market that is somewhat dominated by Siri.

Android Wear, with is GPS location tracking software and heart rate monitoring, is proving to be a direct competitor to wearable health trackers like FitBit and the Samsung Gear Fit, though Samsung is manufacturing a watch that is part of the Wear function called the Gear Live. Gear live will be water and dust resistant and have a vibrant screen that can be seen in nearly any level of light. LG is offering up the G Watch, a low profile and slim Wear Watch. Boasting a powerful battery that will keep the watch going for a full day’s charge, LG is so confident in the G Watch that it designed the watch’s screen to never turn off, allowing you to see your information without ever having to wake the system up.

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Each Watch running the Wear software can connect directly to your Android phone, though you must be running Android 4.3 or higher. From the watch much of the functionality of the phone is transferred to the watch itself, which in turns has the ability to control the phone through voice commands. Though still new in the market, the prospects of the Android Wear to be more than just an odd footnote in gadget history are high.

Both the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live are available through the Google Play store.

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