Android Wear should be one of the first steps towards a wearable revolution and so far it is off to a slow start. Android Wear watches started shipping a few days ago and Google Play indicates that between 10 and 50 thousand users downloaded the mobile app.
We have read some of the entries indicating that quite a few people installed the software without having a Google watch to match it to. You do need Android Wear to actually use the software and connect your smartphone and smartwatch, otherwise the watch won't be able to synchronise or work as it is supposed to.
Battery life remains an issue
The Qualcomm Toq is an alternative to Android Wear and it needed almost three quarters to hit 10,000 to 50,000 installations, but then again Google Wear has much better chances of success due to Google’s dedication to this emerging platform.
What bugs us about Google Wear watches is that they have around 36 hours of battery life at best, despite their relatively bulky appearance. The Qualcomm Toq looks slimmer, and its E-paper Mirasol display lets it run for up to 5 days or at least three days (72 hours) in a heavy use scenario.
Samsung priced its Gear Live at $199 which might be the winning price and LG G watch is selling for $219 and they both look alike with its square design. Motorola 360 won the hearts of many but it comes at later time this summer and it will cost more than $219.
The next big thing?
The aesthetics should not be overlooked, either. Round LCDs are not cheap or easy to come by and it remains to be seen if Google Wear can reach some high sales numbers. It will get better with time, it will get thinner, smarter, faster just like smartphones. Round units like the Moto 360 are likely to have a lot more mainstream appeal.
Many analysts and industry veterans we talked to expect wearable technology to become very interesting in the near future, but no one expects it to be a high-margin or high-volume business anytime soon. It is likely to grow, but everything has to start somewhere.
Of course when Apple makes a wearable piece of technology that can show time and sits on your wrist, all of a sudden it will sell millions and it will be credited with inventing the smartwatch. We saw this scenario some 7 years earlier with smartphones and it is likely to start happening again in the latter half of the year or beyond.