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  • nathanddrews - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Implants, please. Reply
  • samsonjs - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I'm with you. I have very little interest in wearing something on my wrist or face. I'll probably hold out for the contact lens or implant version. Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    Let's start with something that is actually doable and makes sense, like a bigger screen in landscape mode that goes along the hand. I would have bought a smart watch already had not all devices been designed by retards, with tiny screens in portrait mode. Gear Fit has "landscape display mode" but it is still at 90 degree and clumsy to look at. I'd like to see a much wider form factor, perhaps 2:1 or even wider. And since the hand is not curved along its length, only along its circumference, there is no need to use expensive curved displays. Reply
  • Ortanon - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    You can't even be bothered to put on a pair of glasses?? I understand that a lot of progress has been made technologically in a short amount of time, but we're not operating on magic here. "I'll just wait for some contact lenses that have COMPUTERS IN THEM and do all this pass-through imaging and stuff." Let's be a little realistic here, lol. I'm sure we'll come up with something, but as fair as the wait for that, I wouldn't hold my breath if I was you.

    I think glasses make a lot of sense, if they have the right setup. Watches, I think, are probably the netbooks of the wearables realm lol. They just don't make any real sense from any angle in terms of actual utility.

    I've always been interested in full head gear (e.g. Oculus) that uses cameras to act like glasses. It seems hilarious now, but I'd have no problem walking around looking like RoboCop. For full augmented reality? Please. Plus, RoboCop is awesome lol.
    Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I'll pass on that, I'd rather be the only person the planet without a computer implant than have even one.

    What happens when the planet-crippling tech virus hits?
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Nothing, just like how nothing happens now. Reply
  • inighthawki - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    What exactly are you thinking is going to happen? Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Seriously? If you have a screen implanted in your eye for example you could end up looking at blackness, random images or other debilitating things until you get someone to remove the virus from your implant. If you have an implant that relays audio you could be deafened (either temporarily or possibly permanently).

    There are lots of things that can go wrong with technology and I don't believe closely coupling them with your biology is a very good idea. That is, except for medical devices. There are thousands of ways that could go wrong.
    Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Or even better it could manipulate your senses and drive you to suicide, that one would make a good sci-fi movie. Reply
  • SleepyFE - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Even "better". Someone could disable the safety off-switch and overheat the sensor in your eye making you permanently blind. Reply
  • Homeles - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Because the device would totally be able to draw enough power to do so. Reply
  • purplestater - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    Such a device could definitely be manipulated to flash rapidly in order to induce seizures, or at least vertigo, in an awful lot of people. Reply
  • inighthawki - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    You're making wild assumptions about how these devices work, such as not being able to be turned off, or that there's even a remote connection that would allow a hacker in. I'm sure Hollywood has you cowering in a corner, but if you simplify and restrict both the communication and execution protocol between the implant and external sources enough, it can be designed to be impossible to hack without being physically present to alter the device. Reply
  • hp79 - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - link

    LOL, he watched too much sci-fi movies. Reply
  • chaoticlusts - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Yes there could be all sorts of horrible things done too you via an artificial implant you have...However the practicality of using that method to maim/kill someone compared too the 'good old-fashion' ways will likely mean it doesn't happen.

    As it stands there are already millions of people worldwide that have artificial implants which have been successfully hacked with fatal consequences. But even with pacemaker hacking being public knowledge for years I'm not aware of any murders by that method and even if I somehow missed it's occurrence there certainly hasn't been widespread killing sprees because it's simply not practical compared to guns/knives/poison/disease/car etc.

    There's always risks to things the question needs to be does it present any greater risk or vulnerability than you are currently exposed to in life and if so do you believe the benefits outway that risk. Personally I'll happily line up for life enhancing implants (I've already played around with trivial stuff like neodymium finger implants), however if you don't feel comfortable with it by all means don't get them I just thought I'd mention we as a society already strolled past those risks some years ago ^_^
    Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    "As it stands there are already millions of people worldwide that have artificial implants which have been successfully hacked with fatal consequences."

    Really? name one?
    Reply
  • hughlle - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    The only instances I'm aware of are like most hacks. Proven by a group of researchers at a conference as possible, but with no known real world example. Reply
  • chaoticlusts - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    That's the stuff I'm referring too but the proof at the conference was sending a signal from a laptop too a pacemaker that caused a shock that would easily be fatal if it was implanted in someone at the time. The guy who discovered it was showing it off as a warning, given a 'real world' example beyond what he showed would require murder/attempted murder I'll take the example he gave instead :) Reply
  • chaoticlusts - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Pacemakers and potentially insulin pumps too, basically any medical implant that can receive wireless communications. The hacks exist but like I said I'm unaware of them ever being used on a person (when demonstrated it was on devices that weren't inside someone at the time for obvious reasons).

    Sorry the phrasing in that last post was exceptionally clumsy (insomnia in overdrive). I didn't mean millions have been killed I meant millions had devices that can be hacked in that fashion.
    Reply
  • mickulty - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Imagine a screamer, only you can't look away. Reply
  • Kevin G - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile. Reply
  • Frenetic Pony - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    You'll die anyway when your self driving car crashes, or when the power gets shut off and you starve to death, or etc.

    Implant security is a really interesting sci-fi but also real enough to think about and that's scary (pacemaker hacking) idea though.
    Reply
  • agent2099 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    agree with the implants idea. I do not want to carry another device. Reply
  • jdrch - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Couldn't agree more. I stopped wearing a watch in 2004 and don't intend to go back. Reply
  • mike8675309 - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    I concur. As a glasses wearer a highly improved google glass type experience would be great, otherwise I'm just not interested in wearing a watch. I'd much prefer something built in that would have a interface that I can handle with mental input. I would rather them continue to work on display technolgy. The idea of having a portable computer (i.e. todays phones) that is smaller than the current Iphone 5, yet can have a screen as large as the Phablets of today would be a big win. Think something like the flexible display used in the movie Red Planet. Reply
  • ol1bit - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    I'm not a bible thumper, but any implants truly reek of Revelations, aka Mark of the Beast. People are pissed today that the NSA tracks all phone conversation. I'll bet they track all phone locations today as well, so they already know who's phone it is and how many of you just leave your phone behind? An implant would be even worse for government spying. I say a BIG NO THANKS to implants. Reply
  • mike8675309 - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    meh Revelations. There are any number of medical required as well as cosmetic implants used today. I see little to no difference. Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    How about a suppository? Wouldn't that be the ultimate form of tech nerd self satisfaction? Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    It would be nice to be able to tell a die-hard *insert brand here* fan to take their latest plaything and shove it up their backside... Reply
  • ghm3 - Thursday, July 17, 2014 - link

    http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100618203758/... Reply
  • smunter6 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I've had a pebble smartwatch for over a year now and I love it. Is it perfect? No. Is it for everybody? No. Will I wear a smartwatch every day for the rest of my life? Absolutely.

    Wearables still have a long way to go, but they're already ahead of where android was in the early days. I look forward to seeing how the technology will evolve going forward.
    Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I don't really see the point of wearables, except in niche applications.

    A lot of people carry a device with a 5-inch screen that you can use for phone calls, messaging, maps/gps, browsing, video, light gaming, and it has essentially all-day battery life.

    If we already have one of those, why would we want something else with a small screen and a tiny battery?

    Obviously I am just talking about smartwatches. There could be all kinds of small device like pedometers, heart rate monitors or something completely different that people might wear and that would have a niche.

    But general-purpose wearable computing doesn't seem like a great idea.
    Reply
  • lothinator - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I stopped wearing a watch 15 years ago for a reason.

    Until we have eyeball/nerve implants that you leave in 24/7, are completely unobtrusive, and don't need replaced every time we buy a new phone thus doubling/tripling the cost... then ... no. Just no.
    Reply
  • Aegrum - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I received a Skagen watch as a gift this year after having not worn a watch in over a decade. It took some getting used to, but I'm back to feeling naked without it. The amount of time saved from not pulling out my Nexus 5 and hitting the power isn't significant, but its enough to justify its place on my arm. And then there's the fashion aspect. I'm consistently complimented on its attractiveness in various meeting I have, which as vain as it sounds, makes me enjoy it more. That's why the Moto 360 looks so enticing to me. It retains the classic, fashionable style while adding additional functionality that saves me from having to interface with the phone.

    But as you said, battery life is the chief concern. I charge my phone at the end of the day, so the watch would need to parallel its battery life. Also, I'm concerned about charging logistics. So far the watches seem to have specialty charging cradles, which may be fine for a typical day, but very often I have had to find a mini-USB cable to do some immediate phone charging. Granted the watch is a far less critical device than the phone, but still, it would be nice if there were a standard.

    Functionally, I need the watch to do only a handful of things. Tell time (duh), notify me of important information (calendar events, traffic alerts), search for information via voice, and allow me to respond to SMS via voice. Those things would warranty the ~$250 barrier of entry to me.

    I look forward to your coverage of these moving forward as I'm sure they'll be as informative and relevant to my interests as the rest of your site is.
    Reply
  • SleepyFE - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Do you mean searching through your contacts list or google-ing? Reply
  • Aegrum - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Both, probably. Initiate a phone call via voice. Google search via voice. I'm not looking for a full page of info, but if I say "OK Google, what year did Iron Man come out?" it'd be cool if it came back with "2008". Reply
  • TheTurboFool - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Just tried that with Android Wear. "OK Google, what year did the movie Iron Man come out?" Results:

    May 2, 2008 (USA) with the poster for the film as the background.

    So no, it didn't give JUST the year, but it did answer the question perfectly.

    It does notify me of everything you asked for, currently, and allows me to respond to SMS, emails, initiate calls via voice, and more. Everything you said, starting at $200. Although I bought the G Watch for $230.

    And I take my watch off the charger at around 8:00AM every day, and when I put it back around midnight I usually have around 30% life left.
    Reply
  • Murloc - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    whoa 8 AM every day, you are one lucky man! Reply
  • geo2160 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Well, it's pretty simple. it's not there yet. The smartwatch market will be able to bloom only when it will have decent representatives in every price segment. In an ideal world, I would expect to pay 40 to 70$ for a low end smartwatch with good battery life that does all the essential stuff, like being and actual watch and taking care of my notifications. A simple charging charging mechanism is also a must. If anyone wants to spend more than that they should be able to get better build quality, fancy design, better screen and additional sensors.

    Oh, and for me personally, an always-on screen that shows me the time is mandatory since it is still called a watch. An improved Mirasol screen with better refresh rates and colors would be ideal, but AMOLED would also be ok.

    I know I'm asking too much for a <100 dollar device, but it will be hard for the manufacturers to convince me that I actually want to use one. It will be even harder for them to convince the less tech-savvy masses to buy them.
    Reply
  • 01nb - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Got my G watch yesterday. I changed the band to leather immediately.

    Since then, my phone has barely left my pocket.

    This is precisely why I bought it.

    I will likely move over to the 360 when it drops, as I prefer the style.
    Reply
  • e_sandrs - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    You'd think more companies could do something with an e-ink interface for a wearable to extend battery life, like on a Pebble? Yeah, no color, but for the purpose of "information on my wrist": time, recent text message, and maybe email preview - why do I need color? Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    Some e-ink displays have simple colour support. And that's all we need, really. Reply
  • e_sandrs - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    True - and simple things like an accent color or two would probably help allow for some additional information to be presented simply. Reply
  • mrdude - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    "What would it take for you to add yet another computing platform to your life?"

    If we're talking wearables, I don't see it happening. At this moment, adding another connected device seems completely redundant unless that device can add some sort of functionality that's otherwise impossible to achieve via a smartphone. Currently the only benefits of a smartwatch pertain to extending and connecting to the smartphone; as a standalone device, the smartwatch is just a gimmick. Sure, I can now check my messages in the kitchen with my wristwatch if the phone is in the bedroom, but is that really going to be the draw here? have some limited functionality of a smartphone when your phone is just out of reach?

    I'm personally far more interested in connecting (and interconnecting) the home and all that that entails - the lights, the TV, the fridge and the central heating/cooling. At least there we stand to benefit tremendously from saving power and personalization.
    Reply
  • icrf - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I think most people stopped wearing watches, so trying to get us to put one on again just so we don't have to pull out our phones as often is a stretch. I don't like the feel of something on my wrist or face and avoid it when I can. If the watch meant I didn't have to carry the phone, then maybe, but right now it just means yet another device to tote around.

    Something more specialized like a pedometer is more interesting. I'm not sure what other kinds of devices like that can exist, but just moving part of a smart phone to a wrist or face isn't nearly interesting enough to pay attention to it.

    All that means I don't anticipate visiting the Wearables section of Anandtech, and I hope it doesn't consume too much of your time to the detriment of other coverage. Everyone's calling it the Next Big Thing, but I'm have a hard time seeing it. They said the same thing about 3D TV.
    Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    "I think most people stopped wearing watches,"

    What makes you think that?
    Reply
  • A5 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    This first round is interesting, but I think this is more of a thing where the Gen3 products are going to be really good. Thinner designs, better battery life, and a fleshed out app ecosystem will make them much better. Reply
  • Thracks - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Though I cannot see untold years into the future or remark with 100% certainty, it's quite unlikely that my big collection of "actual" watches will ever compete for wrist time with a smartwatch. I simply cannot envision a need in my life to augment the capabilities of my phone. Reply
  • SleepyFE - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I have only gone without a watch a year or two, then i finally got it fixed and wore it for about two years. Sadly the strap fell apart again and i just had enough. Been without one for three years now. And i miss it :(

    I can't wait to see more "experimental" designs. The screen is too small for more or less anything, yet a "smartwatch" still appeals to me.
    First thing's first. The screen has to be e-ink. It's the only way to get the battery to last. That way the screen needs power only every minute.
    As far as functionality goes i want a bluetooth connection with the phone and i want the phone to send notifications to the watch. That's it. It must NOT have a camera (the screen is too small anyway), that way people aren't afraid of "little snitch" (Robbie Williams' big brother joke).
    If you don't want tho carry a phone anymore there might be room for a sim card and you would need a bluetooth earpiece to talk.
    That's my ideal "smartwatch".
    Reply
  • SleepyFE - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I forgot to add mp3 support, microSD slot and microUSB for charging. There, now it's perfect and i don't even need a phone anymore. Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    " Sadly the strap fell apart again and i just had enough. Been without one for three years now. And i miss it :("

    you do know those bands are replaceable don't you? :-)
    Reply
  • SleepyFE - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Well... Yes and no. The strap was a mix of aluminum and rubber. The rubber links fell apart and i'm out of replacement parts. Went to a few Swatch stores and none had a metal or silicon strap in my color. The leather strap has foam in it to make it look bulky and helps it fall apart sooner. Reply
  • sheh - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Thoughts: boring. Reply
  • Qwertilot - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Interested in the watches for on foot navigation (esp outdoors) for which there seems to be a fairly clear cut use case.

    Most of the time even my phone is turned off anyway. Normal watch.
    Reply
  • ron1936891 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I don't like wearing watches, so I have very little interest in any device that simply replicates my phone on my wrist. If that is all a wearable does, then I am happy to just keep pulling out my cellphone. If the wearable can do something that my cellphone cannot, I might be interested (for example, the rumored medical sensors for the iWatch intrigue me). Reply
  • HangFire - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I can't stand wearing a watch and a world full of people voice-commanding their gear would be a really irritating world to live in. Hands-free bluetooth earpieces are bad enough when you're standing in line trying to figure out if the person behind you is arguing with you or through their BT connection. Until neural command (or something like it) is a reality I won't be an early adopter. Reply
  • joe_dude - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Looking at the long view, I do not believe a wristwatch will be truly useful until it can *replace* a smartphone. I've never liked carrying around a phone... it's easy to lose, easy to break, another thing to carry. A watch is simpler, lighter and handier.

    The idea of carrying a "brick" to make phone calls, read an e-mail, search for info or find directions will hopefully soon be antiquated. Then "phones" can just be tablets.
    Reply
  • SleepyFE - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I hate tablets. A blown up phone that won't fit in any pant pocket. Useless. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I'd disagree with you entirely. The amount of watches I've lost, broken and otherwise destroyed over the years is... well its no small number. This is mostly due to the fact that the watch is located on a wrist :) Oh and a wrist watch is not comfortable. It gets in a way of... well everything really.

    On the other hand so far I've had 1 smartphone mugged off me a few years back. I've had a few of them since and hey not a single one I've managed to lose or break....

    And the idea of carrying a tiny screen which you have to drag literally in front of your face just to read an email seems ludicrous to me.
    Reply
  • jooj32 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I never lost, broken or destroyed any of my watches. I'm with you about smartwatches not being worth it. At least what I've seen so far. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Well that's deffo a case of ymmv when it comes to breaking stuff :) Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    Simple: You just need to buy the jeweller's loop attachment. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I could get on board with that. As these watches stand now, they're of no real interest. How many platforms are we supposed to carry around, anyway? Reply
  • jooj32 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I'm still waiting until my smatphone can replace my notebook. Reply
  • hamiltenor - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I enjoy the pebble for what it is. A "dumb" device that gets all the information it needs from the phone is what I wanted when I thought about a device I attach to my wrist.

    Sure, it tells the time, but it also serves as a remote for my music throughout the day at work. I'm interrupted several times a day on average and it's nice to be able to pause the music I'm listening to without having to turn on the screen of my phone.

    I don't understand the usefulness or need for something that isn't simply an extension of my phone. Most of these new watches want to be a companion device, but I think that's stupid.
    Reply
  • ivan256 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I have a Pebble smartwatch. I love it, and I'm never going to wear it again.

    The battery/charging technology just isn't there yet. And wireless charging isn't the answer - in fact it doesn't help at all.

    The Pebble has variable length battery life. It's between 2 and 7 days depending on how many alerts you get. And it takes hours to charge.

    The reason wireless charging doesn't help is that you can't charge it while you're wearing it. It'll have to be on the power mat. A watch isn't like a phone. You can't pop it out of your pocket and plug it in for a few minutes here and there. It's annoying to take it off, and it doesn't function as you expect while you're not wearing it.

    What needs to happen is that smart watches need to take a multi-day charge at extremely high current. 15-30 seconds tops. Some sort of liquid fuel-cell that you can quickly refill would be acceptable as well. Until then smartwatches will be too frustrating.
    Reply
  • silenceisgolden - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Round face or a really amazing square faced one. Waiting on Moto 360 and will buy when it releases. It would be very interesting for Anandtech to open an Ecosystem section where they review certain devices in the context of their pairings, or even reviewing the Ecosystem itself in different contexts (consumer, enterprise, etc.). Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    The device needs to have a minimum 10 day run time if you use it strictly as a watch and for other very limited data, such as current temperature, pedometer, phone notifications, etc. The only way to accomplish that is to be tethered to your phone via bluetooth, and let the phone do most of the heavy lifting, using the watch more as a dumb terminal. It needs to be clocked very low, and spend most of its time in a forced sleep state.

    I have no interest in a device that has to be charged multiple times per week.
    Reply
  • imaheadcase - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    None of these devices will take off, the invention of the phone killed watches for a reason.
    The price for a basic smartphone is superior to a smartwatch and can do more. I don't understand what these companies are thinking pushing these and investing in them. I think I know one person who has a watch, my uncle who does not trust the government so has no phone.
    Reply
  • Alexey291 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Well technically I own a watch... I wear it as a woman would wear a piece of jewellery "on social occasions"... And still catch myself checking time on the phone xD Reply
  • Imaginer - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I used to wear a watch, 10 or so years ago.

    I stopped because my phone supersedes that option and then some. It is not that cumbersome to carry, and is more communicative in receiving and being able to interact and transmit information than a small face watch, that hinders my wrists - and in some cases a hazard in being caught.

    Due to the exposed nature, and electronics as well, the watch would obviously be in more bump situations and shock situations. I do not feel that replacing a smartphone with a smartwatch would be even "smart" in this sense, as the ONLY communication device would likely break more than a smartphone when in play and use. And if one is carrying around a smartphone to begin with, my scenario as I stated before in my smartphone superseding my watch in time comes forth.

    Plus, traditional watches last a good 2 or so years on a battery (for me). Smart watches, need to be charged just as frequently as a phone, if not more so due to usage. And when depleted, congratulations, you are now wearing a pretty bracelet.

    I also have dealt with glasses for a good half of my life. My prescription has my lenses so thick that I need a very light frame and expensive lenses to even be comfortable throughout the day and extended days. In other words, unobtrusive in weight - being as light as the hair on my head. This applies to any form of heads up display that may come about in any shape or form. And I believe my glasses has seen and are worn with me while swimming and doing floor acrobatics - need I say wearables need to be just as durable as the clothes I wear?

    And my glasses are already up at $300 upon initial purchase, and unlike obsoleted technology, has continued to work with me - pending prescription changes which at this point isn't much anymore. Most of that cost is in the lens. And now I am fronting another $300 or triple that cost for electronics that may not be as durable or robust - and not upgradeable or if so, costing at bulk and weight for implementation? No way.

    TL:DR,

    NO wearables for me save for my prescription eye frame and lens.
    Reply
  • zoxo - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Interesting from a technological standpoint, but I have zero interest in buying them. I don't like to wear either watches or glasses. The usability and usefulness is also questionable at best at this point, at least that's how I see it. Reply
  • Rockworthy - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I am a huge tech guy and always have been, but I don't give a darn about "wearables". Having a tiny smartphone or Android device on my wrist sounds like both a constant distraction and a lousy piece of jewelry at the same time. Reply
  • prime2515103 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I'm perfectly happy with my regular ol' analog watch. Then again, I just got my first smartphone a few months ago. I just don't feel the need to be connected 24/7. I'm old though; I was perfectly happy playing with sticks when I was kid. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    We need a wearable so everyone knows we are powerful and have a smartphone! Oh wait, even people on food stamps hava a $700 iPhone... Reply
  • Murloc - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I think it will spread when there will be at least a black-and-white (fast e-ink or something minimum if not a real screen) smartwatch for 120$ that lasts at least a full day if it has wireless (AND wired) charging, or longer if it's only wired, that takes vocal dictation well and supports whatsapp.

    Then we will all look like undercover agents, whispering at our wrist.
    Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    The only one even worth considering is the Moto360 because it looks like a watch. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Yeah, the 360 actual looks pretty decent. Most smart watches now look like something out of an old sci-fi. Reply
  • Psychosylph - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    It's all about battery life. Keep in mind, I don't wear a watch and have little desire to. But if they have a killer app for it they could convince me - but not if battery life stinks. I would need to be able to put it on in the morning and take it off before bed to really be convinced, or at least get close to that. (Yes, I'm not really impressed by current smartphone battery life) Reply
  • loki1725 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    My issue with current wearables is the same issue I have with phones and tablets, the User Interface. While a mobile device works ok for consumption, I still really struggle when I have to input information longer than a few words. Voice/Siri/Cortona all are steps in the right direction, but they still only work for short bits. Narrating a full e-mail isn't practical. I think the key enabler for wearables to be viable is better data input, and then some form of data output.

    Google Glass almost had the output, but my experience with that left me really wanting. Wearable contacts, or even full lens glasses with a HUD would be a start.

    As far as watches, I'm not interested in the slightest. I wear a watch every day, and will probably continue to do so for my whole life. But I wear watches because I love the engineering and design that goes into them. All but one of my watches now is powered by kinetic movement, and most of them have see through faces so you can see the mechanism function. Digital watches don't interest me anymore.
    Reply
  • arsena1 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    No wearables for me, thanks. Some people have commented that "when watches can replace phones then I'll bite". But it seems to me that one of the biggest features of smartphones these days is the camera. Watches aren't going to replace phones unless you give it a great camera and some way to take photos without contorting your arms and looking like a total doofus in the process. And no thanks to all of the voice-controlled stuff, that's just annoying.... Reply
  • tarqsharq - Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - link

    I could see them mounting the camera lens on the side, so taking a picture in front of you is just a matter of holding your watch like you're adjusting the time, looking at the screen to see what it's viewing, and clicking?

    How are they implementing the camera now? Front facing?
    Reply
  • Alexey291 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    The short: Waste of time

    The long:

    Its been said time and again that a watch was a necessity created by the fact that one needed a time piece. Now we have that and MUCH more in a phone. And this shows. How many people never wore a watch again ever since they got a smartphone I wonder? I'd bet that its an overwhelming majority...

    Its the much more that makes the phone a much better watch than the watch itself. Big screen, all the functions of a smartphone, sufficient battery. All in relative safety of a pocket, as opposed to being exposed on a wrist. The amount of watches I've damaged and broke over the years can't be easily counted... I have so far broken 0 smartphones.

    On the other hand we have an extension for a phone (how is it even a "smartwatch" if its just an extension for your phone?) with a tiny screen and a barely sufficient battery. Yes one can talk to one's own wrist. And yes it makes one look somewhat... mentally defficient, especially when Gnow fails to understand you...

    Oh and I will repeat the point about the small screen. There's a reason why smartphones have on average (across the world) a screen around 4", there's a reason why there is a tendency towards bigger screens in every segment of the smartphone market. And now we have this tiny... wonder...

    Ah well its TL:DR already anyway...
    Reply
  • barleyguy - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I have no interest in watches, smart or otherwise. My last watch was a Casio Disco in about 1987. I've been tempted to track one of those down just for retro nerdy coolness. But overall, I feel too connected already, as opposed to not connected enough. When I quit working in technology I'll probably quit carrying a cell phone. I didn't have one until 2004 when my brother bought me one as a gift (or so he could reach me). Reply
  • StormyParis - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Forcing myself to answer because I'm not motivated by the topic...

    I've disabled all notications on ly phone except for one messaging app that's for close family and friends. So i take my phone out when I want it, not when it wants me to.
    I'm not counting how many steps I walk/run/swim daily.
    My headphones let me control my mudic already...

    I'm only interested in 2 wearables:
    - an ID one, that replaces all my logins, PINs and keys
    - a smartglasses one, that replaces my smartphone and tablet with glasses, so I can read/listen to Anandtech while doing the dishes.

    I'm not holding my breath for either. And I'm not spending the price of a smartphone to get notifixations on my wrist. I might spend a quarter of tje price of a smartphone to NOT get most notifications.
    Reply
  • Deadeye37 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Personally, I would like a good looking smart watch that doesn't break the bank and is very durable. I don't want an ugly piece of crap watch that dies halfway through the day, or the screen cracks when I bump into something. Its got to be as durable as my current wrist watch. Reply
  • Gadgety - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    I think durability from a hardiness stand point will be decent. However, because tech marches on, particularly in terms of frugality/autonomy, but also OS, and compatibility with the phone, the smart watch will be a consumable, so I'm expecting an average product life of approximately 2 years, expecting to spend $120 a year on replacement cost. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    * Needs to be sub <$100
    * Needs to respond to voice commands
    * Needs to be able to be usable for something more than notifications, such as directions, using it as a remote, time piece, etc. In other words its a way to manipulate your environment while connecting to technology, your phone, and/or the internet
    * Needs to be viewable outside in bright sun
    * Needs to be viewable indoors when the place is extremely dark
    * Needs to get more than 72 hours use with a single charge of battery

    In other words I am very intrigued by the current products, but I think it is way too soon for me personally getting one.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I'm loving my Gear 2...

    I have it ignore email notifications, so when my phone beeps, and my watch doesn't, I know its not an sms, or not urgent. Good at dinner parties, for not interrupting conversation.

    If I'm up in the racking running a new fiber, I can take the call on my wrist (if a very important person) and tell them I'll call them back etc.

    When driving a car that is not mine - I can also take the call without getting effed-over for using a phone whilst driving, and again, deal with it later.

    So easy to read the time, and nice to wander around the house without my phone in my pocket, and not miss an important call etc.

    Two full days on battery though. (Shame) and I don't like the charging adapter you have to use either. You can't plug the micro USB into the device itself. So if out and about, you cannot recharge it without having this small adapter with you.

    The sleep / pedometer / other health stuff turned out to be more interesting than I had given it credit for.

    I too will now wear a smartwatch for the rest of my life too.
    Reply
  • pikles - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I see wearables going somewhere. Too bad that won't be my wrist or anywhere else on me. Maybe, I'll change my mind in a year or two if these wearables actually do something I want. Reply
  • jooj32 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Why is everyone just talking about watches. That's just one wearable. Wearables can be fully integrated into your clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc. They may not even have a screen and charged via solar or kinetic energy.

    As for smartwatches, I won't be buying one based on what I've seen so far.
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I mentioned glasses in my post. Regardless, my post stand on wearables.

    Must be as durable as my clothes I wear day in and out while maintaining function. And not impeding in function or comfort (re: glasses I made mention earlier) as I wear them or lasting during the extended time of wear.
    Reply
  • jja16 - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    I'd wear this wearable: http://www.damngeeky.com/2014/07/04/22587/tetris-t... Reply
  • knightspawn1138 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    My vision of a wearable worth paying for is one that takes the place of your smartphone, while still being capable of lasting about 12-16 hours on a charge. In essence, a phone that reverses the trend of 5-8" screens on the average phone/phablet. I want to see the large manufacturers invest more in flexible displays, or finally get to color low/no power e-ink designs, and really start thinking outside the box instead of just seeing how small they can make the rectangle that is your current smartphone, and putting a wrist-strap on it.

    It would be great to see a smart-watch that integrated a flexible or semi-rigid display into the watch band. The watch-face is the majority of the screen, but a flexible display that continues from the edge of the display down the band would be a great place to put ancillary information that requires less updating (and power) than the primary display.

    Or just make it look like Dick Tracy's watch, and I'll get one for my Dad. He'd love to Skype on that. :D
    Reply
  • pikles - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Are you suggesting separate screens on the band? Anyway, that'd be awkward depending on which wrist you're using and where the screens are on the band. I'm waiting for holograms that'll change size based on your preferences in a few decades.

    Or maybe just flip smartphones that expands into a larger screen when unfolded. Kind of like some of the demos we've seen but better.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    +1 to the holograms. That would be WAY cool. Reply
  • B3an - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Not interested. I don't want anything on my body, something like a watch or glasses just get in the way. Implants are the future. Reply
  • Rhubarb_Custard - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I'm very skeptical about wearable displays that are too small to display much and too dim to be legible outdoors. Not to mention how unnatural it is to talk into a watch.

    My vision of wearable is a pure audio interface to a Google Now that reads out incoming messages/notifications akin to Moto Assist but also let's you dictate simple replies. This should all be possible with a Bluetooth headset or your car audio. It's less intrusive and more natural to talk into a headset. I dare say battery life would be better too.
    Reply
  • dealcorn - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Targeting sustainable use models is more viable than targeting faddish, MMTB fashionistas. Parents/pet owners/equipment owners will pay for instant alarm if their child/pet/fork lift is no longer in a predefined "safe" GPS location. Any Type 1 diabetic will file a claim form to get someone else to pay for 24/7 blood glucose level monitoring with alarms and without painful pin pricks to draw blood. Can someone make a case that Cardiologists/trainers/psycho-gurus can make money reviewing the electronic records produced by their patients wearable health/karma monitors. Certainly, someone will make a buck pitching the idea that the right wearable will help be get a date with Marlena Dietrich when she was 20. Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Thought 1: I'm not very interested in wearables. A major reason I like my phone is because I don't have to carry around a GPS, camera, game system, etc. Wearables push that integration back, and I feel like it's a bit of a forced market at the moment, and I hope AT doesn't get too caught up in the hype (as one might infer from wearables having top-tier status on the site menu equal to PC components.

    Thought 2: I REALLY don't want to read about wearables when things like the Surface Pro 3 and Devil's Canyon review take a month to be published. I understand the desire to follow page views, but I do think there's a risk of the site's core focus getting too diluted.
    Reply
  • leafar30 - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    No using watch for a long time
    Good things for wearable tech
    Finest tracker
    Lifesaver
    Track my health
    Basic phone or phone extension
    Personal passengers driver
    Contrast:
    Small display
    Can't read
    No outdoor viewing
    Internet of things for connecting devices.

    I think nobody yet discovered the real mean for wearable tech device
    Reply
  • ozzuneoj86 - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    I honestly hope I'm never so busy that I "need" a smart watch.

    I've had a smart phone (Xperia Play) for almost two years and I barely use it beyond playing games and reading on my breaks at work, and sending a text here and there. I pay $25 every four months with Page Plus, and limit data usage to wifi only and generally have 2/3 of my balance left to roll over at the end of the 4 month period.

    I use it as a glorified pocket watch throughout my work day (haven't worn a watch since the 90s), and some times use the camera to snap a picture of something to avoid having to write a note.

    Basically, wearable tech would have to bring something pretty incredible to the table for me to bite. Being even more absorbed into and inseparable from our electronic devices due to the constant barrage of stimuli they send our way with little to no effort required doesn't seem like a good thing. I like the fact that my phone is only on my mind when I want to look at it. If I want my brain to focus on life, the phone is out of sight and out of mind. Having popups in my eyeball or having my watch buzzing or talking to me while I'm trying to accomplish something just seems counterproductive.

    I imagine that there are many people who's jobs would benefit from such things, but I'm personally glad that I don't see much point in it for me.
    Reply
  • wintermute000 - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    I'm still with the pebble school of thought. KISS, battery life and make it look like a normal watch.

    The small screen means I think sammy and those other vendors going down the swiss army knife approach have it wrong. The only things I care about are

    - notifications and call screening
    - remote control music (no pulling phone out just to change tracks)
    - battery that goes for a week, wireless charging.

    So pretty much almost sold on a pebble steel except for reports that the connection can be dodgy on android, and the fact that I want to wait and see android wear v2 / not optimistic about future app integration in current pebble stack.
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Yes, the KISS principle.

    With watches, I had straps break. And I would not notice my watch is gone until later. Catch 22, if a smart watch is light enough to not notice and the straps wore or the pins break, I lose a potentially expensive device proxy.

    Also falling in lines of KISS, I simply pocket and deploy my smartphone. I know it is pocketed - thus secure on my person definitely. I know it is there, because I have to deploy it from my pocket, I do not need to do additional steps of removing the jewelry (watch) for certain operations and putting it back on.

    Also, smart watch proxies adds another device to handle for little additional function to use to handling gain/detriment.
    Reply
  • ekux44 - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Disclaimer: I'm the creator of http://lampshade.io

    I've been a skeptic of early wearables like Pebble and Glass, but I'm incredibly optimistic about Android Wear based on my personal experiences with each platform.

    Google's card/notification approach is well suited to contextual computing (Google Now, etc), which I expect to rise with the IoT. As more devices become available to 'smart' control, the wrist is most convenient for repetitive actions that can be suggested. Example: you arrive home and your watch shows options for unlocking your door, turning on your lights, etc. This becomes even more powerful as indoor-location begins to be solved by technology like iBeacons.

    I'll be blogging on this in the coming months as LampShade develops contextual and wearable solutions for smart home lighting.
    Reply
  • Gadgety - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Nice little piece of software. I expect something similar for media center control, channel selection, volume setting etc through wrist based computing. Reply
  • Gadgety - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Wearables is one of the reasons I'm in the tech market at all. I was in on a couple of the SonyEricsson Fossil made MBW-150 ana-digi smartwatches way back when. When I bought I didn't realize the digital panel would be wiped out from humidity in the air (!), less than two years after date of manufacture (!!). That's bordering on consumer fraud for a 400 USD product. Other than that it was extremely useful with custom ROM from a rogue developer.

    I'm waiting for something both stylish and highly useful, such as the Moto360. However, the following quote for the LG G Watch is highly worrying "...under 9 hours of actual use, display on but dimmed on a single charge." Minimum usage is a day, so that's what, 18 hours or so. Perhaps there's space here for non-Android device.

    I think you could publish the review first, and then start the debate. Thanks.
    Reply
  • Gadgety - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    I want to add: The hands free operation was one major reason to get the smart watch. Time, vibration alert on the wrist, caller ID in meetings and when driving, incoming messages, an easily set count down timer function, chrongraph, and control of the phone's music player (not hands free). The Android Wear platform I suppose will bring traffic coverage, and rerouting based on the actual congestion pattern, plus time to arrival when driving.

    Currently I have two phones, the largest being an 8 inch LTE Samdsung Note 8. The larger the phone the more useful the smartwatch.
    Reply
  • Azhrei - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Battery life, battery life, battery life. I have a Pebble smartwatch and five days between charges isn't perfect but is much more palatable than these new Android Wear devices which all look like they require daily or every other day charging.

    Other than battery life it's aesthetics as watches are as much jewelry as they are functional. My Pebble is great for casual wear, not so great anywhere else. (I have the original non-Steel version)

    I view wearable computing in it's current incarnation as primarily a glanceable notification system which so far they seem to have a handle on. If wearable computing takes off, I am curious what else may evolve. One example that comes to mind is if they become ubiquitous enough, something as simple as a handshake could exchange contact information.
    Reply
  • dishayu - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    We discuss this topic very often at work. The clear consensus is that smart wearables will only take off when they become seamless. I haven't worn eyewear ever and a wrist watch in over a decade and I don't want to start now. This is completely opposite of what we have been trying to do till date i.e. consolidating camera, music player, computer, TV into one efficient package.

    The wearables need to be seemlessly integrated into stuff we already use (shirt, shoes, wallets perhaps?) and be reliable (which includes having a battery life of more than 15 minutes).
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    To all those of you here that say a new smartwatch (or other device) needs to be "cheap";

    ...may I direct you over to the nearest Rolex store to see what people are willing to pay for a quality item on their wrist.

    And why should the fine electronic engineering, as opposed to the mechanical engineering of a Rolex not command an equally high price? It is not like Rolexs' are lightweight.

    Having had a gold Rolex, five Tag Heuers' (three of which were 1/2 gold), and a number of other watches, I know I am willing to pay for a quality item, so get making it!
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Anandtech - for the love of the Lord, please switch to Disqus so we can EDIT!!! Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    So um... Who cares that you spent lots of money of jewellery?

    There's a reason why the majority of "swiss watch" manufacturers are now owned by 1 single company. Because they have all gone bankrupt. Mostly due to them producing overpriced (well that's questionable I agree) jewellery for men which holds literally 0 purpose these days.

    Smartwatches claim to have a purpose aside from just "looking pretty" (which neither rolexes nor the current crop of smartwatches do). Except ofc they don't have that claimed purpose. They are just jewellery. Just like normal watches.

    And seriously rolexes or tags aren't even expensive so stop trying to show off.
    Reply
  • Betak - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Wearables integrated in clothes might be okay, but I would never wear it if it were directly "attached" to the body. Reply
  • gfieldew - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    I have the Samsung Gear Live. After 14 hours off the charger it had 40% battery left and I'd given it plenty of use. I've only had it for a day and a half. The full day I used it I was wanting to try out all the different features.

    One of my favourite tricks is the turn of the wrist toward your face to turn on the display. I kept all the notifications turned on and found that at times I could delete unnecessary emails and ignore some Facebook messages with a flick of the wrist and a couple of touches. It was great that I didn't have to pull my phone out my pocket to do these trivial things.

    The battery life will likely be good enough for me. I charge my phones and tablets overnight and I don't find it bothersome. I am a little concerned about the plasticky charging attachment. It looks like it could fall apart without too much stress.
    Reply
  • gfieldew - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Oops, forgot to say thank-you. I am a long time reader of this site and have always appreciated the professionalism of Anand and the other writers. Looking forward to your Android Wear Review 👍 Reply
  • TheJian - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    I have no use for small screens. I don't even use a phone for anything other than an actual call 99% of the time. I grit my teeth using my dad's 10in nexus for browsing the web...LOL. Other than VERY specific needs and not very often, I don't see how these will ever sell. GPS or something on your wrist for a bike rider or someone who can't carry a phone etc, runners maybe, not much use for anyone else. Why would you look at your watch when you have a huge (ROFL) phone screen to look at already? You don't need 2 ways to see the same info. The one that is 1-2in will never get looked at past the first week of "wow that was cool for a second". People will hear their friends say it's useless and sales will tank.

    Are any models selling well? I prefer a great looking diamond watch compared to this plastic crap annoying me with yet more messages/input to deal with. I have zero use for these vs. my rather expensive classy looking 40 diamond watch ;) I don't think a wearable says the same thing to the ladies either (you can make of that whatever you will...LOL) :)
    Reply
  • Frenetic Pony - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Wearables feel like a category desperately in need of a Steve Jobs. Right now they certainly don't do enough for mainstream adoption, though gadget geeks that think it looks cool too will snap them up. But there's probably enough possible functionality to make them mainstream, if someone with the vision to see what that functionality was and had the power to yell at good engineers until they made it happen. Reply
  • LtPage1 - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    I have yet to see anything that makes me interested. So far, the only real benefit seems to be not having to take my phone out of my pocket. In exchange for that minuscule benefit, I get to wear an ugly screen on my wrist that I have to charge every day. No thanks. Glass intrigues me, but only because of what I imagine it'll be capable of in 10 years. Call me when it's invisibly integrated into my contacts or normal-looking prescription glasses. Hopefully in 10 years our phones will be smart enough and fast enough to make it useful, too. It's irritating enough when my phone takes a few seconds to look something up, misinterprets my voice command, or gets hung up for a minute when I walk outside of a wi-fi network. Having it constantly in front of my face while it's being slow or screwing up is not something I want. So far the only "new" inventions seems to be fitness motivators like FitBit, which don't seem to do anything but tell me how far I run, or how many steps I take. This is not useful information. Reply
  • isa - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    In general, wearables look promising. Biggest beef with the current and upcoming smartwatches: they still need a smartphone in communications range. I won't be interested in smartwatches until they contain some sort of SIM card to make and receive calls, and contain accurate GPS sop that I can at times leave the smartphone at home.

    Second beef with any wearable that contains GPS: the firmware is generally balky and GPS accuracy is very finicky and inaccurate in common situations. Hopefully wearables can take advantage ASAP of the new L2C signal that began broadcasting in April.
    Reply
  • isa - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    To clarify, in my use case of a smartwatch in lieu of a smartphone for certain situations (athletics, social outings), I'm OK with a limited battery life. 8-10 hours under continuous GPS use, perhaps a two days otherwise. The rumored generator ideas are interesting, though. Reply
  • OreoCookie - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    As someone who wears an analog watch on a daily basis, I cannot see a place for a smart watch right now: all of them are ugly, the battery life is too small and, most importantly, I don't see a use case for them. Of course, there are other wearables out there, but I don't want yet another device which starts buzzing when I receive a message or an e-mail, I don't think this is what a smart watch or another wearable will be about.

    I think there are small things a wearable can and should do:
    - The battery life should be measured in days or weeks. Perhaps a built-in generator similar to an automatic caliber of an analog watch can generate enough electricity so that it never needs to be charged if it is in regular use.
    - A wearable could help with authentication/location-awareness similar to keyless go systems for cars.
    - I don't think a screen is necessary. That'd improve battery life tremendously.
    Reply
  • Sttm - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    I am only going to carry 1 device, wearable or not. Reply
  • pruett365 - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    I'd like to see a watch like a Casio G-Shock with call and text alerts as well as the ability to answer the phone if I have a Bluetooth headset. I don't mind sensors for working out, however I don't need apps on a watch. The screen is too small and awkward. Reply
  • mathew7 - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    I agree with this. 1st functions should still be a watch.
    I think passive LCD matrix would be enough (still allowing several virtual designs) with BT4 connectivity, so when you check the time you could see notifications (maybe you missed the phone vibrations, or even keep them off).
    I would jump right now on the G-Shock watches, if they would not have such low phone compatibility (My Z1C does not seem to be compatible with the app).
    Anything with less than 1 month of connected use is unacceptable. Slim design has extra points (because of "inconveniences" with my motorcycle jacket sleeve+glove, I actually stopped wearing watches)
    PS: while I was wearing a wristwatch, it only came off during showers (or sweating and washing in general). So please don't defend the current crop with nightly charging. Even weekly is not acceptable.
    Reply
  • vFunct - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    Unless the wearables are marketed as jewelry (which Apple actually appears to be headed towards?) and not as a functional device, then they might be usable.

    Watches are meant to get you laid, not to tell time.

    Having a glorified calculator on your wrist is the best way to repel women.
    Reply
  • zhenya00 - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    I gave up wearing a watch over a decade ago when I started carrying a phone. That is, until recently when I got a Nike gps watch that allows me to track my runs without having to carry a bulky phone. Getting used to wearing it has taken some time, but even as someone whose phone is never far from his side, I can see the eventual appeal of this market if someone can get it right. The market right now is reminiscent of the early MP3 players; nobody has taken the time and effort to really get it right yet. (Visit the smart watch section at your local big box, it feels like it's outdated already) While I can see the benefit of displaying phone alerts, it's going to take more than that to popularize these. It has to look great. It needs a couple of days of battery life and an extremely easy charging solution. (Taking off a watch to charge is far more inconvenient than plugging in your phone as it sits on your bedside table, and the big appeal of a watch is that it's always on you, which it won't be if it's always charging.) it needs to offer additional functionality you don't have from your phone. Personally, I'll be disappointed if it requires a phone nearby to be useful as the entire point to me will be to let me get untethered from my phone more. I don't expect to make phone calls from it yet, but gps tracking separate from the phone would be nice, among other metrics it might track.

    I think the entire industry is throwing things against the wall to see what works which kind of masks the fact that they are waiting in anticipation of what Apple is going to do. Samsung can buy all the advertising in the world telling us how cool they are, but when it comes down to it, nothing they are releasing right now has any chance at all of widespread popularity unless Apple first makes a watch desirable.
    Reply
  • darkich - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    I'll just fast forward two decades into the possible future scenario to show you how I see wearable computing potential.

    Almost everyone is walking around with glasses that seem no different than today's discrete fashion designs of common glasses, or sports glasses with foto sensitive lenses.
    Many of them have them simply tucked over the forehead, placing them over the eyes only occasionally.
    But what they're wearing is actually a near indestructible(made by ultra durable materials) , fully augmented and connected, artificially intelligent personal assistance computer with completely adaptable screen(from no displayed content to UHD 3D content that can cover an entire field of vision) scanning, diagnosis, sensory array and a camera that can record in 3D to such definition that two persons communicating with each other can send a near- realistic image and sounds of their respective surroundings to each other.
    One can basically visit another place without having to be physically present there.

    Do I need to add that the computing power of the device also allows for truly immersive, augmented 3D gaming? Internet, multimedia, and education too?

    There.
    Reply
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    Reply
  • OreoCookie - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    Maybe we should take wearable more literally: Apple has recently hired quite a few people from the fashion scene. Traditional watches have a life span of years if not decades. Smart watches are obsolete after three, four years.

    So instead, what if the wearables of the future are very inexpensive additions to fashion (shirts, shoes, etc.)? If they are simple, they could be powered by small generators which convert body motion into electricity (just like automatic calibers do). So instead of a smart watch you buy shoes that also happen to have integrated sensors … (I know that clip-on sensors for shoes already exist, I chose that example deliberately.)
    Reply
  • xype - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    I think "wearables" will simply come down to having a normal-looking watch with a bunch of health sensors implanted, and no big-ass screen (at least with current battery technology).

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple was the first to do it that way, and then the rest following suit pretending they didn’t come up with the huge amount of ugly watch-like designs for mini touchscreen wearable computres that noone wants.

    The reality is that most people have a smartphone anyway, and there is little need to have _two_ sremi-powerful computers on you, when you can have one with an additional, wearable sensor array to help gather data.
    Reply
  • danrien - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    I have a Pebble and it's fantastic Reply
  • coburn_c - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    Cheap junk sold at inflated prices to supplement the coffers of multinationals facing a saturated market. Tamagotchi of the new millennium. Reply
  • amplify_chris - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    Looking for wearable computing to be more proactive yo help guide decisions. I'm a runner and I've grown weary of the activity tracker. Smart fabrics is a nice step in the right direction but it has to be real-time and coaching for improving performance. Reply
  • austinsguitar - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    i think that it is dumb to wear this technology simply because it is something they will never perfect in the next 30 years. something fast and does a lot of stuff, in a form factor like my own watch that i gotta quote "never brake and i can wear it anywhere for 4 years and sleep and shower with it." that will likely not happen in my young life... just sayin. Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    I'm the kind of guy who had one of those calculator watches. I'd still be wearing it, but it broke a couple years ago. One thing that I've had trouble with since then is that it's really hard to find out what second it is on Android. Even the wearables today only show minutes, because it'll take too much battery otherwise (though there are some watches with a blinking colon in the middle, so... maybe they could).

    The way I see it, these devices can't be that useful unless I can:
    -Wear it for a week without charging it
    -Look at it any time without fiddling with some kind of activation sequence
    -View it easily in bright sunlight
    -See the number of seconds that have elapsed in this minute

    I've been keeping an eye on some of those with e-ink displays, but there are other technologies coming out. There are some with transflective LCDs that you can actually see pretty well in dimly-lit places, so that's also a possibility.

    I also can't stand the absolutely massive bezels on some of these. The Motorola one looks pretty good in that regard. We're not in the early 2000s anymore.
    Reply
  • TechFan1 - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    Augmented reality glasses could be very useful, but it would have to be really good. I would only wear a smart watch if it looked nice, and somehow tracked important health information. I don't see a need for a separate computing device from smartphone, just separate devices that act as sensors/aids for the phone. Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    I want a Moto 360 for the novelty of it all, and to see Android Wear grow first hand... But I don't think a smartwatch will become a must have anytime soon, most consumers would rather spend the same amount of money on something like a tablet...

    Neither device is a necessity, but the watch ends up being more of a luxury and convenience thing than even the tablet. I'm currently using a Nexus 5 & 7 FWIW (first Nexus devices I've owned), and a $50 Fitbit Zip + SanDisk Clip Zip player for exercise (which the watch probably won't displace).

    I'm actually worried that Google locking down the software side of Wear will lead to less innovative devices and less developer interest in the long run. After all, convertibles, phablets and lots of features that are now part of stock Android only came to be because OEMs kept throwing crazy ideas at the proverbial wall.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    Also, I've only really worn a watch in the last 15 years for fashion, when dressing up etc... I do wonder about the the effect of wearing a Moto 360 and having it remind me of appointments and when to leave as Now does on my phone tho. It might just cure my chronic lateness, maybe. Reply
  • CrystalBay - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    Need to be more inexpensive.. Reply
  • djc208 - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    I think the mainstream here will be much simpler than most of the manufacturers are doing right now. I think a Chromecast like device for $50~100 that is a decent watch and can also display alerts, and provides some fitbit like capability.

    Pulling out your phone isn't that big of a deal for most, the watch is all about quickly checking basics like time and notifications to see if pulling the phone out is needed. Trying to make them a smaller screen phone-like device is just overkill and most aren't going to see the need to spend $$$s on a watch to do the same thing they can do just by pulling out their phone. Over time the tech may improve to encompass more of the features they want now but I think they're aming too high too soon.
    Reply
  • rocktober13 - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    My thoughts are similar to most it seems; wearables need to look better and have much better battery life (a week minimum) before I will consider buying one. I recently started wearing a watch again and I do find it more convenient and professional for telling time when compared to a phone. Reply
  • Rocket321 - Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - link

    Needs:
    5 day battery life
    Viewability in sunlight
    Metal watch and band
    Fitness tracking
    $120 price point.
    I'm guessing we are 3-5 years away from hitting most of those needs but I'll keep an eye on the space until we get there.
    Reply
  • val1984 - Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - link

    I've been wearing a pebble (the plastic one) for six months. It's the first watch I've worn since the 90s.

    Its screen is as readable in full sunlight as in the dark (you just have to flick your wrist to turn backlight on for a few seconds). Its battery lasts a week, more or less (depending on the watchface you use, the number of notifications you get etc.). It uses Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. There are numerous watchfaces and apps available in the pebble app store (but it's still in its infancy so for example, there are no worthy swimming trackers right now). It works with almost all smartphones (iPhone in my case).

    I don't miss phone calls anymore since it vibrates on the wrist. But you have to alter some settings to avoid being flooded by notifications on the pebble. Other than that, there's not much you can do with 4 physical buttons except looking at the clock, reading notifications or using one of the few actually useful apps in the pebble app store.

    One last remark: receiving Google maps pedestrian notifications actually works quite well to find your way when you have to walk somewhere you don't know.
    Reply
  • shlagevuk - Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - link

    Personally, I crave for a good HUD (google glass?) and some kind of control interface like the wristband that sense muscles contraction to track finger movement. The two input and output devices managed wirelessly with a smartphone-like device, probably smaller because it didn't need to have such huge screen as now.

    As for the incoming smartwatch or smart devices announced, I see almost no interest as to buy them. The only useful thing that can come through these devices are body sensor for sports or health related application.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - link

    I think it will be very important for wearables to have a standard platform and protocol to follow. If we end up with a marketplace where you buy a device, that works with other devices, then years later when you buy a new one you have to replace all the devices it works with we will have a highly unsustainable market. That seems to be what they're going for now, especially Samsung.

    I personally cannot stand things on my wrist, so I will never be a part of the smartwatch industry. But I predict it will always have a niche market. To this day there are people who, for whatever reason, love their watches.

    I would be a lot more interested in implants. Google glass is interesting, though limited.

    You ever watch Andromeda? I wanna be able to interface with computers with my mind, like Harper does. That's the dream, right there. Preferably wirelessly though...
    Reply
  • hp79 - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - link

    I still think it's gay to wear these things. Too bulky, not practical. Maybe in a couple years from now it'll be better. Reply
  • Antronman - Thursday, July 17, 2014 - link

    While I am not gay, there are likely a number of homosexuals that are Anandtech regulars whom you just offended, and I would like to ask the moderators to remove your comment. Reply
  • willis936 - Sunday, July 27, 2014 - link

    While I'm not a virgin I can say you're an embarrassment to virgins everywhere. Reply
  • Antronman - Thursday, July 17, 2014 - link

    Not very interested at all in what is currently offered.

    The most interesting thing available is Oculus Rift, and I don't like some of the choices the developers opted for.

    Until I get a smartwatch with a screen that is capable of being 6" wide and at a 16:9 display ratio, without it being very clumsy/unwieldy/large, I'm not too interested in the wearables market.
    Reply
  • boozzer - Monday, July 21, 2014 - link

    I stop wearing a watch back in 2006, why in the flaming hell would I start to wear one now? these smart watches better do something incredible, something my phone can't do. only reason people wear watches these days are status symbols like rolex. there is no other reason. but then again, apple customers are sheeps :)( Reply

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