One could make the argument that style and hardware design are not essential components of a good smartphone, notebook, or even desktop computer. For most people, they just need a device that works. Yet, as mobile computing becomes increasingly intimate in nature, style will inevitably be a determining factor. There's a big difference between wearing a device on your wrist (or head) and something that only surfaces from the depths of your pocket.
Adriana Lee, writing for Read Write, talks about the importance of style when considering a wearable device. Slick design was not responsible for her foray into smartwatch territory. She became used to the Pebble Watch providing useful notifications and glanceable information; the transition to using an Android Wear device was a natural progression.
When I began checking out smartwatches last year, I didn’t realize how dependent I’d become on having alerts piped to my wrist. Now I’m obsessed with finding just the right device to deliver them.
This is a tricky mission. I’ve had a Pebble smartwatch strapped to me for several months. Now I’m running around with the LG G Watch, the first Android Wear device to hit the market. In between, I’ve peeked at numerous other contenders vying for the valuable real estate on my arm.
Though it has not become a mainstream product category yet, the wearable market is estimated to pull in $5.26 billion this year and $9.2 billion over the next four years. Style and comfort will likely determine which devices succeed and which fail. After all, these devices are visible to all our friends and colleagues.
Lee argues the LG G Watch (her first Android Wear device) does not have the necessary hardware sex appeal to entice buyers, particularly females.
The LG G Watch is just the beginning of what will probably be a flood of Android Wear watches. So it's possible that some of my criticisms will be addressed later on. What probably won’t, though, is this: The predominant design ethos yields an awfully clunky gadget that's just not comfortable to wear.
Like wrists tend to be, mine are rounded. The G watch’s large, unforgivingly straight body teeters on top, with the rubber strap lashing it in place. It feels like having a stiff board tied to my arm.
Battery life will also be a point of contention for future wearables. Lee notes that the Pebble afforded her 5-7 days of use, while the LG G Watch lasted a mere day and a half.
Android wear does seem to get it right on the software front, especially for a first generation product. Unlike Android - which comes in a variety of unpredictable flavours - Android Wear should be an identical experience on every devices, sans the hardware and performance differences. The Motorola 360 looks to have the best implementation of Google's new mobile platform, as it features a much more elegant design, round clock face, and premium materials. Not surprisingly, while Android Wear has garnered considerable excitement, everyone is waiting to see what Apple unveils. Though Android devices typically have a price advantage - as OEMs try to make their devices appealing to a broader audience - Apple might be able to get away with charging a premium in the wearable category and still leave its competitors in the dust. If style and sex appeal are in fact paramount factors to customers, companies like Apple (and perhaps HTC) will have the advantage.
Make sure to check out Lee's full article in the source below.
Source: Read Write