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Google’s ‘Project Watch’: Another Pipe Dream?

January 24, 2013 - Written By Doug Scudder

Google is hardly the first company to look into manufacturing a wrist-mounted computer. Of course there have been many Kickstarter campaigns, the most notable of which is the Pebble. The people behind the Pebble raised over $10 Million in just a few days to get their product off the ground, and now they are finally shipping to early supporters. The question that seems to be on everyone’s mind: Is there a market for a smartwatch” Well, of course there is. Pebble has proved that at the very least. There are people out there that would love to use this product. But the better question is: How large of a market is there for this product? That remains to be seen. There is no doubt that the Pebble is a beautifully designed, well thought-out product. And until we have large numbers of them out in the real world, we won’t really know how successful this type of wearable device will be. Certainly there will be a social back-lash against flaunting this type of technology out in the open. Its amazing that after twenty years of computers revolutionizing the way each and every one of us lives, it is still considered “nerdy” to get excited about technological innovation or the next greatest device. But lets not forget that laptops were once considered dorky by many. Why would you need to take your computer with you? After that it was cell phones, then smart phones, but once the mainstream lemmings around us finally wrapped their minds around the value of having such powerful features available anywhere, suddenly everyone was clamoring for the next great device. There are always a few slings and arrows that early adopters of a new technology will have to endure. But as the advance of technological innovation not only continues but accelerates, I think that the public will continue to be more and more open to new ideas.

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Of course the Pebble isn’t the only wearable device that is on the horizon. Google Glass is also out there… somewhere… someday. And now we have a new potential product from Google. According to Business Insider, Google is currently testing the marketability of a new Pebble-like product. This device would feature a flip-up screen design. When the screen is closed it would be a basic interface that would display notifications, texts, caller ID and of course, the time.  But when the device is open the two-screen experience would allow for access to Google Now as well as other apps. I think that Google Now is the key to the success of this device. Not only would Google Now be able to gather more information about our behavior, and therefore make more helpful and insightful suggestions. But the voice interface is ideal for a device this small. Google Now has quietly revolutionized the way many of us use our smartphones. I would say that on some days, half of my interaction with my phone is through Google Now. If I could tap a button on a slim, slick smartwatch and sent text messages, read incoming notifications and flip through my Google Now cards, this could truly be something special.

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What you see above is a beautiful concept that was created by an independent designer, Adrian Maciburko. If Google could actually create something like this with long battery life, and a durable build, we might just get to see the next technological revolution unfold in front of us. Only time will tell.