Earlier this week, an app emerged for Android Wear devices that added the wondrous ability to watch YouTube videos on your smartwatch. Now of course, the idea of watching YouTube on your wrist seems ridiculous. Not only is the display on your wrist small, but you need to have a Bluetooth headset or Bluetooth speaker nearby to actually hear anything. That, and you’d look a little weird in public holding your wrist up constantly. Still, I don’t think even the developer hopes for this new app to become a user’s primary source of YouTube fun. What this cool app is then, is a sign of what’s to come.
We covered the app earlier in the week, and I spent some time with it as well. My immediate reaction was “Wow, this is pretty cool!” Then of course, I was pulled back to reality and the idea that why the hell would I want to watch YouTube on my wrist? Well, the answer is that I don’t. But it’s a damn good party trick and I will be showing this off to friends, mostly just for the hell of it, but also because I know people that think smartwatches are black magic, and well, the idea of video on a watch might finish them off.
In all seriousness though, this neat little app just goes to show how powerful these small computers on our wrists really are. The video playback isn’t the smoothest, and with no speaker it doesn’t make all that much sense, but it works. Imagine in two years’ time, there could easily be a watch with a small camera and speaker enabling video calls. Again, while not the most practical, good enough for an easy 5 minute long chat or something. Of course, video bulletins, news alerts and announcements would work well here, too. For right now though, I’m excited of what else developers will find that Android Wear is capable of, like being able to send gifs to each other, or quick video messages recorded on your phone. Five years ago, devices as sleek as the Moto 360 and Watch Urbane wouldn’t have ever been able to do something like this, and now our watches are more powerful than the PCs we had on our desks a decade ago, and that’s exciting.