Ars Technica reports a rumor that Google will bring out a smart watch within months.
My take on this is that it represents a loss of confidence in Google Glass. I think smart watches and smart glasses compete for the same market, which is “people who want to be able to see short notifications without unpocketing their phones.” Neither device will be able to take input in any but the clumsiest fashion, and neither (for now) can present a large amount of output.
In many ways, glasses seem like the obvious winners: they can probably display more output than a watch, they can present it even more immediately than a watch, and they provide a camera that a watch doesn’t. But they’re also, I suspect, more uncomfortable, impact the wearer’s image more, and of course have drawn a certain amount of privacy-related criticisms. And the grand hope that Glass would prove to be a versatile platform that people could figure out a ton of really awesome apps for seems to me like it’s basically completely flopped. They display notifications and are a camera.
Still, they’re more capable than a watch. If you’re wearing Google Glass, I submit, you do not need a smart watch. Ever. So if Google is producing a smart watch, that indicates that they think that for at least the duration of a product lifecycle, they’re going to be unable to convince a significant portion of the Android using gadget-buying population to wear Glass.
Me, I’m skeptical about Glass, but watch bands drive me crazy.