August 28, 2013
Most smartwatches currently on the market or in development are essentially extensions of one’s smartphone. But a really attractive smartwatch will be one that can offer contextual information when needed. Larger companies may have the edge in providing sources of data for using this type of information. An example of this potential functionality is a watch that integrates with Google Now, Google’s contextual search and personal data assistant.
There are many features that make for a good smartwatch; it can display phone notifications and act as a remote control for playing music on the phone, and display apps or games, such as “Angry Birds.”
Although some of these features are already on smartwatches, they are only an extension of a user’s smartphone, argues GigaOM. A more useful smartwatch would be one that can display more practical information, other than email notifications or caller IDs.
With a recent update to the Google Search app, Google Now has more cards, or search categories, such as car rentals, concert tickets, search reminders and more. These features can become the primary use of a potential smartwatch that is different from others on the market.
Typically, there is little room on a smartwatch screen for significant inputs from a user. Google Now can address this as it generally does not require user input, but responds to data from one’s Google account and location.
There have been other successful smartwatches, such as Pebble, which raised more than $10 million on Kickstarter and is now for sale at Best Buy, and the Motorola MotoACTV fitness tracking watch. However, neither of these watches, nor most others, offer contextual information.
To successfully provide true contextual information to a user, a company would need access to vast amounts of personal and general information. Small startups and companies may not have the resources, leaving mainly larger players with the most ability to offer these services.
Google may be the best choice for all it can offer its users with a smartwatch. The company has demonstrated that it can offer practical, wearable devices, such as Google Glass, and it can offer more with its contextual Google Now.
A Look at Every Smartwatch Currently in Development, Digital Trends, 8/22/13
Galaxy Gear: New Samsung Smartwatch to Debut Next Week, ETCentric, 8/26/13
Omate Smartwatch Project Reaches Funding Goal on First Day, ETCentric, 8/23/13
Apple Applies for Trademark in Japan, Paves Way for iWatch, ETCentric, 7/3/13