Google announces Android Wear; wants to put Android on your wrist

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The LG G Watch

Source: LG

Google made a big splash yesterday when it announced Android Wear, "a project that extends Android to wearables."

The first projects to take advantage of Android Wear are smartwatches coming from LG and Motorola. The LG G Watch is scheduled to arrive sometime in the 2nd quarter and the Moto 360 is expected sometime this summer. Google also name drops Asus, HTC, and Samsung as being manufacturers they're working with.

Here's how amazing your life will be once you have an Android smartwatch:

And Google's obligatory "talking heads most definitely not looking at the camera" video for developers:

And here is Motorola's pitch for the Moto 360:

Are you excited? After years of smartphones getting smaller and thinner, now you can strap a big chunky smartwatch to your wrist!

Yeah, I'm skeptical that wearables aren't just a fad. I watch these videos and think it'd often still be a better experience to just whip out your phone. Do you really want to do a web search and only be able to see one link at a time?

More interesting are the fitness features these devices are supposed to have. It sounds like a smartwatch will replace your Fitbit or Nike band or whatever you're using now, if you're using anything. That might be the killer feature for a lot of users.

Also when the girl (in the top video) is riding her bike and has her garage door Internet-enabled so she can tell her watch to open the door without slowing down...well that was cool. But of course there's a little more to that trick than just getting a smartwatch.

So we'll see. My Android devices don't do nearly as good a job of understanding my voice commands as the smartwatches in these videos do, but maybe Google can address that.

They still look so clunky though. How about giving us something with a flexible display that can be a bit bigger and partially wrap around our wrist? Maybe such a device could completely replace our phone? What I'm seeing so far is one more device to charge every night, really.

Or maybe I'm just old and jaded. What about you? Are you excited at the idea of an Android smartwatch? If so, sell me on them!

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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