Wearable devices landscape was in a lackluster state until Google showed the way with the announcement of their "Android Wear" developer SDK for wearable devices. Besides SDK, Google also showcased the concept & design of Moto 360 (smartwatch).
It is worth noting that, Google is not the first company to enter wearables arena. Sony and Samsung laid the foundation stone, but could bring the 'X factor' to their gadgets.
Google started with Glass and continued its hunger for wearables with Moto 360.
Although Google Glass is in news for more than a year now, it is still not a finished wholesome product. Understandably, Google Glass is an advanced and complicated concept/product. But Moto 360 on the other hand will be available by "summer", according to reports.
Since we do not have information on when Google Glass would be available to consumers, Moto 360 might be the first one to see the light from Google's den.
The sole purpose of wearable device is to reduce or simplify the work. In Google Glass and Moto 360's case, users can command the wearable device which is paired to their smartphone to send messages or even ask questions. But all these are just theories, there is no laid out path/rule-book to follow.
This is where Google turns into a pioneer with its reference design for smartwatches. Moto 360 design can easily be considered as the benchmark and other players can base or extend their model grounded on Google's Android wear.
According to CNet, "Google Glass feels comfortable to wear, but Glass is a product that by its nature is meant to stand out, and even stand in the way between you and the world around you. Google claims that Glass gets out of the way, but really, anything you're wearing on your face that has a lens and a screen is hardly discreet."
But then, Moto 360 blends in with the regular watch. It is comfortable, most importantly, it looks natural to use. Google Glass, even though mounted on regular glass-frame, it pops out.
The aesthetics and the usability factors make Moto 360 stand out.
While Google Glass is all about the face, Moto 360 shifts the focus to the wrist. Apparently, there is no camera in Android Wear based wearables so far, unlike the Samsung Gear 2 or even the Google Glass.
There is an advantage of not having camera embedded on the wear; there will be no bar/restaurant bans unlike the restricted Google Glass.
As long as the Android wear is uncluttered, clean and seamless, Google's smartwatch might win the customers who are wary of wearable devices until now.
Ways of Interaction:
Like Google Glass, "OK, Google"/Google Now will be a major part of the smartwatch. Likewise, the Moto 360 and LG G watch are also touted to allow voice commands.
With Google Glass, you can either tap or swipe your way to utilize the features, but by speaking what you want can get you there faster provided Glass understands you, says CNet.
Google's method of interaction gravitates toward touch, talk, tap, swipe and some gestures.
The bigger question is: How comfortable users will be to talk to their wearable device in public?
Health & Fitness Fad:
Health & fitness are much talked about these days. With the available information, Android wear is not concentrating on health & fitness arena at this point.
"Android Wear is concentrating more on notifications over health & fitness tracking mechanisms. Then again, the developer preview page showcases a wide range of sensors for Android wear apps, from accelerometers to heart rate monitors," says CNet.
When it comes to health & fitness; 'many' are interested but not 'all' of them. Hence this is an area, where Google can take their own time and work their way up gradually.
With the advent of Apple's iOS 8 "Healthbook", will Android follow suit?
Google is working on Google Glass and Moto 360. Samsung has Galaxy Gear, Gear 2 and Neo. Sony has Core and SmartBand, while Pebble has Steel. Will other major players join the party?
It is safe to say that by the end of 2014 we might have lots of completion in the wearable gadgets arena with big and small players fighting it out for the top spot.
In the advent of Moto 360, wearable gadgets landscape does look a lot better and promising.
To read more on Moto 360, click here.