With Android Wear coming soon, will there be a need for Google Glass? | Connectedly

With Android Wear coming soon, will there be a need for Google Glass?

Android Wear
By Justin Duino on 11 Jun 2014 09:44 am

When it come to innovating in the world of technology, Google is one of the best. Between modular phones and self-driving cars, it seems like the company can achieve anything. Two of Google's latest projects that have been getting a lot of news lately and will hopefully be getting even more soon are Google Glass and Android Wear. Both of these new wearable platforms have shown incredible advancements over the competition and have a lot of promise in the near future. The problem with Google creating Glass and Android Wear is that they both have very similar features and could make the use of the other redundant.

Google Glass has been known about since early 2012 and developers started getting their hands on the hardware in mid 2013. In the last year we have seen major software changes to the platform and plenty of amazing Glassware built by developers. The whole point of the Explorer Program is to allow developers to create a decent amount of applications for the device before it goes on sale for the general public.

Android Wear is something that was just announced months ago. Instead of a wearable that is strapped to the users head, it comes in a more traditional watch format. When the platform was announced, we were immediately introduced to the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch which would be the first hardware devices to come to market using the new Android operating system. While developers have not been able to hold a physical Android Wear device, Google did a great job of releasing an emulator and making tools available so that anyone that wanted to start building for the platform had the ability to since day one.

Wearing Google Glass

The issue that comes from Google developing both platforms is that they generally do the same thing. On either platform the user can call up different commands through voice actions, view notifications, and use all of Google's other features like Play Music, Maps, and even Google Search. The two main differences are the user experience and the form factor of each product. It is obvious that the two products are different in the user interface department since Google[X] built the Glass software on top of previous versions of Android while the Android Team created a whole new version of Android for the Wear experience. I am hoping that someday Project Glass will be handed to the Android Team to develop the operating system for the hardware or at least have the two devices run in a similar fashion. As far as the form factor, it is obvious that the two teams had two different answers on how they felt wearables should be worn and used.

So the question is if both of these products do almost the same thing, why is Google continuing to work on both platforms? While Glass is worn on the head and allows the user to use their device without having to look down and dislocate themselves from the world, there are obvious social norms that are broken by staring upward at a screen floating right above your eye. While Android Wear devices are more normal looking since people have been wearing watches for centuries, the user loses the ability to make calls and have a heads up display available when they obviously cannot look down.

While it could be possible that Google just plans to bring their wearables to the market and allowing customers to choose their preferred form factor, I could see one scenario where the two could work perfectly together but it would mean getting rid of the phone as we know it today. In this scenario, I could see the watch being the cell phone with all of its radios and large functional screen while Glass is used for everything as far as calls, navigating, and any other functions that the user would want to do completely hands free. While this would have to completely revolutionize the way people think about their cell phones, it could just work.

Reader comments

With Android Wear coming soon, will there be a need for Google Glass?


Personally I like the idea of a smart watch. But there're simply two different things. I'm excited to see how I like the Toq. My first experience with Sony first smart watch was a disaster.

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I'll be surprised if Google Glass in its current form becomes a commercial product. When I listen to tech podcasts, majority of explorers admit they don't use Google Glass on a regular basis. If you can't get these early adopters sold on Glass, how do you get general public to buy in?

While there are definitely things that Glass can do that a smartwatch can't, I think we aren't quite there yet.

I personally don't see me using google glass anytime soon. I see enough problems with eyesight and headaches from myself and others that stare at a screen all day. I do plan to purchase a watch in the near future.

Glass and Wear both appeal to me. When they reach what I would consider a relatively painless price point I expect to jump on both bandwagons. Of course by the time they reach that point the physical and operational aspects will be pretty mature, and, so, hopefully, will be the public, making wearing Glass into bars in San Francisco a less dangerous feat.

As far as replacing smart phones and tablets with these gizmos, that does not seem reasonable unless all the computing functions become integrated into Glass and Wear. It is perfectly possible considering the ever shrinking microprocessors, RAM, and power supplies, and greater broadband communication availability. It would be fun to see it all in my lifetime, but I suspect it will only be only be popularly available to the Jetson Generation. But then, who knows. I might last longer that I expect.

The question in general is like asking plane or train for a short journey.

They both get the job done, but do you really need a jet to do the weekly shop in?
Personally I can see Android wear on Smartwatches making a good go of it in a consumer market, when a quick glance won't get you killed (as long as your sensible & not while your driving) but is handier than pulling out your smartphone phablet or tablet. For that discreet glance while your in a meeting or having a conversation exs.
But as for Google glass I would definitely say it's final iteration will more likely be aimed towards law enforcement, military application or medical profession instead of watching a monitor while doing keyhole surgery those kind of situations where the info could save a life but turning your head to look at it could have the detrimental effect.

I had purchased a Pebble about a month before getting a hold of Glass for work, once the initial "I got to play with Glass" wore off, about a day, I didn't find much use for it. I wore Glass for a few weeks, but I was disenchanted since the Pebble worked so well for notifications and controlling music and generally not being on my face (I have prescription glasses) made it far more appealing to me, despite it's limitations.

The thing I always tell people though, is that Glass feels like the future. I mean it is really cool, to be able to do all these things w/o needing to touch anything, that feels like the future. Glass works really well while driving, when I can't or shouldn't touch my phone, reading a notification and replying to a text message is a great use case, this, of course, can be accomplished without Glass...

Only time will tell, but there is definite overlap, kinda like Android and Chrome, both CAN do similar things but both are built for different things.

I think you missed the point of these products with this article. Yes, Google Glass and their watch interface are very similar right now, but they will be used for much different things in the future.

The watch is for quickly viewing and responding to notifications without taking your phone out. While Glass can do these things too, I don't think we are really going to start seeing the true power and usefulness of Glass until their are a lot more augmented really apps available for the platform. UR is really what I think Glass will be all about in the future

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I went to the Glass demo when it was touring around the country. While the general applications were neat, the most interesting use case that I saw demoed was sign translation. All you had to do was select the languages that you translating from and into, say, "okay Google Glass, translate this", and Glass not only translated the sign, but showed the words on the sign in English to you, as if you weren't looking at a sign in another language at all.

Needless to say, I was amazed. Augmented reality is the future of making Glass a successful platform. When Google starts making maps more augmented reality like, that's when I might consider buying a Google Glass

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Heck yeah there is still a need for Google Glass! I would much rather have Glass than a watch. It would be far more useful for me if the display I'm using is right within my field of view, and I can do most things like navigation without touching it. I also have very skinny wrists so watches never really fit right. To add to that, I have limited use of my hands anyway. Having a camera and a display ready wherever I look, even while driving my wheelchair, will be awesome!