Era Of Wearable Computing Is Finally Here?
We humans have long been wanting wearable computing but it was only visible in science fiction movies. The technology was not mature enough to make wearable computing devices be it, connectivity bandwidth or components small enough to make it into that size.
But last year, the first device ever born from the Google X Labs was revealed; the Google Glass. It is a device that you would wear like a normal glass and you can see the whole UI in front of your eyes using a display which said to be equivalent to 25 inch HD display.
A user no longer needs to take out the smartphone from their pocket. There is a special UI which is mostly text driven and the Google Glass can be operated through voice and a gesture area on the right side of the device.
Google Glass Hardware Specifications:
- 5 MP Camera, 720p Videos
- 1 GHz Dual-Core Processor [TI OMAP 4430 & PowerVR SGX540], 1 GB RAM, 16 GB Storage
- Bone Conduction Transducer
- Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth, Micro USB
- Compatibility: Any Bluetooth Phone [Better Compatibility With Android 4.0.3 Upwards Phone]
Google is also working with respected app developers and others to create apps for the Google Glass. They already have apps for Google Now, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, CNN, Evernote and more. It would be interesting to see how smartphone app developers start to create and update their apps for a completely new kind of devices.
What Is Crippled In Google Glass?
The biggest thing that shows us that wearable computing is still not mature enough is, that no wearable computing device can stand in its own legs, they need to be tied to other devices such as smartphones or tablets.
The other things that it needs to be an independent device such as larger battery & SIM card slot are still not available in the Google Glass and it is still a couple of years away from being reality. It is a connected device and it will cripple as soon as it loses the Internet connectivity.
When you talk about 3G connectivity, you need a larger battery as mobile networks are known for sucking more power. Also, when these types of accessories are connected to your smartphone, they will keep on losing the battery life because they need to supply the Internet and other data through Bluetooth. It even works better with Android devices like Google Nexus 4
Even the voice recognition system that is being used as one of the primary ways to use and control the Google Glass isn’t fully complete and reliable. Google still doesn’t recognize all the languages, let alone the accents.
Also, someone wearing a Google Glass looks weird which means it is not fashionable. But according to reports, Google is working with Warby Parker (an online glasses store) to help them with designs and there are also plans to make it work along with prescription glasses.
Apple is said to enter the personal computing with the iWatch which is said to revolutionize this industry. Although these are only the rumours, Tim Cook’s statement “obviously we are looking at exciting new categories” keeps us mysteriously interested in the iWatch rumour.
Sir Jonathan Ive is said to be working closely with a team of around 100 designers and developers. Tim Cook also mentioned that there will be no product launches until the fall and “some really great stuff coming in the fall and across all of 2014”.
It could feature a 1.5 inch touchscreen along with Bluetooth to pair with your existing iDevice. It would display parts of information from your iDevice rather than mirroring the whole UI. It can use Siri and voice control to navigate around the UI (similar to Google Glass).
Also, it could feature some kind of health and fitness monitoring ability on an operating system that would be a part of iOS. As we can expect from Apple, the iWatch would look stylish as opposed to the Google Glass.
Samsung Smart Watch
It was expected that after hearing rumours of a smart watch from Apple, Samsung would create a smart watch of their own. Lee Young Hee, VP of Samsung’s Mobile has confirmed that the company is working hard on creating a smart watch.
There are no other details about the Samsung Smart Watch except that, like Apple iWatch, it would help users in checking map co-ordinates, monitor physical activity and make calls.
Sony Smart Watch
Sony already released their smart watch companion in 2010 named as Sony Ericsson LiveView but it was too thin on features. Its successor was released last year known as Sony SmartWatch which has dedicated apps, and shows you notifications from your smartphone.
It looks stylish but the battery life and some basic stuff like operation and knowing the time are still crippled.
Although every other major technology brand is busy in giving consumers the part of future in the form of wearable computing devices, it is still time when this technology becomes mainstream and accessible to all.
Bottom-line is, Era of Wearable computing is here, but it has a long way to go before it hits any of the popularity charts! Would love to hear your views on this!