This week Google held its Google IO conference. The keynote speaker went on for over two hours. Anyone who knows me knows I can only sit for about a half hour before my ADD kicks in.
Though I wasn’t able to attend— the price tag for admission, if you could get in, was $1000—there was a large amount of coverage. Google’s smartwatch platform made its on-stage debut with the company calling it a “new phase in miniaturization of technology.” Google released its new operating system in competition with Apple IOS 8. Those lucky enough to be at Google IO will receive either a watch or, eventually, Motorola’s smartwatch, the Moto 360. Now it will be possible to make a powerful computer comfortable on your wrist all day long. It’ll make your in-real-life conversations more comfortable too.
With all of the hype over wearable tech, at first glance this technology seems more James Bond than practical technology. Android users typically check their phone 125 times a day. Instead of getting out that increasingly large “Phoneblat,” like the Galaxy Note 3, an Android Wear smartwatch will quickly show you relevant information at a glance.
And Android Wear is where it’s at. While the LG watch and newly announced Samsung Gear Live will be available in July, the Moto 360 release date is still stalled with a vague summer launch and still unspecified price. The Google Glass-filled audience didn’t much care for this.
Android Wear supports both round and square-shaped displays and follows Google’s design trend of appearing as a stream of cards. Swiping and pressing and holding changes cards and options. These watches are going to look good, feel comfortable, and be super functional.
Apple will also be getting into the wearable-tech race. Following recent news that Apple is prepping an iWatch for release this fall, a new report claims that the company has enlisted several professional athletes to test the still-unannounced device. (Top players from U.S. professional sports leagues, including Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), are testing the device’s “fitness capabilities in intense training environments,” according to 9to5Mac.) Reportedly powered in part by Apple’s new Healthkit app, the wearable device could serve as a major new tracking and diagnostics tool for professional athletes and amateur fitness enthusiasts alike. Sources claim that the device, which reportedly has a curved screen, is already in production, and will debut in October.
Though the price tag for wearable technology seems to be high, this isn’t stopping anyone from trying to purchase it. It’s amazing how wearable technology is coming on the scene and people can’t wait to get their hands on it. Being a tech person who grew up in the ’8os on a Radio Shack TRS-80, if you would have told me that we’d have this technology on our wrists I would not have believed you.
Stay tuned. Google and Apple are working on vehicles that will broadcast your Smartphone on your car screen. Do we really need cars that will drive themselves? Who knows? But it’s being developed.
Here is something I saw at the Google I/O conference called Google Cardboard. Developers at I/O walked away with a strange construction kit for a project named, imaginatively, Cardboard.
If you want to put this together yourself the link is https://gweb-cardboard.appspot.com/.
If you want to see some more of the Google I/O show here is the link http://mashable.com/2014/06/25/ google-io-everything-to-know/
By Shneur Garb