Tag: android wear

Will Google miss its wearable technology opportunity?

The company has yet to show that it has secured a long term position within the smartwatch category.

Google does seem to have embraced the idea of wearable technology as it produced an open-source software, Android Wear, that could be installed into the devices of hardware partners, and it had even been selling test models of smart glasses for a while through its Google Glass line, but it has shown that it is moving toward a higher amount of control over a heavier version of the operating system, including its APIs, which are typically licensed to smartphone and tablet makers.

Some have reported that they believe that Google doesn’t want to repeat past mistakes through its Android Wear.

The Android operating system for wearable technology is considerably more closed than the version of the OS that is designed for tablets and smartphones. Because of this, many OEMs have become a little bit leery of choosing the operating system for their own wearables. Samsung, for example, has chosen to use its own proprietary platform, the Tizen OS, for the majority of its smartwatches in the Gear line. LG is another brand that has created its own Wearable Platform OS, using the WebOS that it obtained from Palm.

The upcoming release of the Apple Watch is expected to throw the wearable technology market forward.

Wearable Technology - Missed OpportunitySince that device is clearly based on a smartwatch version of the iOS platform, many are starting to wonder if Google’s actions to protect itself from the mistakes it had previously made in its standard Android operating system could actually be what locks it out of the wearables market, when all is said and done.

Samsung has previously battled it out with Google over the degree to which Google has attepted to control the implementation of the Android OS. As TouchWiz UI is used by Samsung to differentiate the version of Android that it uses from that of other devices, Google wasn’t pleased that Samsung had chosen to move some of its apps around.

This demand for control and failure to open up the Android platform was what drove Samsung to use the open source version of the Android OS to develop Tizen and steer away from the limitations it faced from Google.

Smartwatch partnership forms among Intel, Google, and TAG Heuer

These companies have banded together to be able to launch luxury wearables before the year is done.

The Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show in Basel, Switzerland was hyped with announcements about wearable technology, such as the luxury smartwatch that is expected to result from a new partnership among Google, Intel, and the TAG Heuer Swiss watch-making company.

The goal of the companies is to create a device that is both practical to the wearer, as well as luxurious.

The CEO of TAG Heuer, Jean-Claude Biver, said that “Silicon Valley is Switzerland, Switzerland is Silicon Valley.” He pointed out that the device that the partners would be designing would be “both luxurious, and seamlessly connected to its wearer’s daily life.” He closed his announcement with a ceremonial slicing into an 80+ pound wheel of cheese from his own farm.

Biver’s statement showed that the smartwatch is the latest component of watch-making innovation.

Smartwatch Partnership - Google, Tag Heuer & IntelHe explained that by bringing together the technology of Silicon Valley and the watch-making of Switzerland, it is a “marriage” of innovation and credibility. He expressed that “Our collaboration provides a rich host of synergies, forming a win-win partnership, and the potential for our three companies is enormous.”

The companies have yet to name the wearable technology device that they intend to launch, but they do know that a chipset designed by Intel will be powering it, it will operate on Android Wear (the modified version of the standard mobile operating system from Google), and TAG Heuer will be designing the actual watch that will be worn by the owner. The availability and pricing of these wearables was also not revealed, but Biver did state that it could be launched anywhere between October and December 2015.

While TAG Heuer will be designing the watch, because of the smartwatch components of the device and as a result of the international method of assembly and manufacturing, the smartwatch that these companies will be producing will not have an actual “Swiss-made” timepiece certification. That said, it will be enhancing the early entry of Google and Intel into the very promising wearable technology marketplace.