Wear and tear: is the smartwatch trend worn out?

Wear and tear: is the smartwatch trend worn out?
Watch what you say

The unexpected announcement of the Android Wear project split the internet in half. The half with the nice hair and the deliberately chunky glasses frames were enthusiastic about it, keen to have yet another gadget to spend a few hundred dogecoins on regardless of need.

The scruffier half, though, was less impressed. Google's ambition to force us all to speak to our devices to control them is baffling, as (a) it doesn't work very well no matter how hard you try to annunciate like Professor Henry Higgins, and (b) people feel stupid talking to their phones, glasses and - coming soon! - watches.

Also on the negative opinion spectrum were concerns that Google Now isn't perhaps the most useful thing to base a format around, as its key ability - telling you what's on at the cinema when you leave the house - isn't particularly thrilling to many people.

Still, some have already rolled their sleeves up in preparation, although others are only making fist shapes and waving their hands in the general direction of San Francisco.

Incoming message on Device #3

Over on Mac Rumours, where you might expect readers to be a bit cynical of a rival product announcement, some people were quite shockingly positive. Reader Lapidus seemed concerned that Apple's later/better hardware strategy is due to fail at some point in the future, asking: "This is the first time I'm getting afraid that Apple might lose everything to Google someday. Should they really keep everything closed? Google is so much faster with opening up everything."

In response, commenter PlutoPrime wasn't won over, moaning that: "Google just video-launched a product that doesn't even exist. You don't even know if the round-watch device has a 20-minute battery life or a two-hour battery life. For all we know, you don't even know if it was CGI magic with a round hunk of metal that created that video."

Reader NachoGrande claimed some of the negativity isn't solely due to it being a Google concept, suggesting: "...for all of the people saying I'll want one if Apple makes it. The answer is still no. I have zero desire to have information on my wrist. It's already obnoxious enough having a conversation with someone when their head is buried in their phone. Now they'll be staring down at their wrist. No thanks."

Staring at the wrist instead of a phone held in the hand is only a case of rotating the wrist at 90 degrees, so we can't see how it's much worse. Not unless people end up looking at the wrist of one hand for notifications that tell them to check out the phone they're holding in the other hand, then it might get a bit distracting.

Kerb appeal

Things were vastly more positive over on BGR, where the Moto 360 demo blew their little socks off. Apple had better watch out, was again the message, with reader KingaSpades suggesting Google and Motorola may have a smash on their hands despite the naysayers, gushing: "I agree that Apple better come with something beautiful and just as capable. This is awesome. And Google Now is beautiful on the videos. I'm a tech junkie first and foremost! If someone makes something that I like more than Apple's device then I buy it."

Reader TripleD was also amazingly on-message with the Google/Motorola deal a little further down the page, saying it appears to shame Samsung's heralded smartwatch ambitions, posting: "I have defended the Galaxy Gear from day one, still enjoy and like it. But when this is released and if it is as good as the demos, the Gear is getting kicked to the curb!"

Don't really kick it to the kerb, mate. Sell it or trade it in. And if you must dump it on the kerb, place it down gently instead of kicking it and scuffing it up. Someone might get some use out of it.

Wear, is it?

Beneath Google's own YouTube announcement of Android Wear there was a more mixed collection of wildly positive "take my money" and rival negative "meh" or "LOL NSA" responses.

Viewer Vlad Deprish is out by the look of it, saying: "No thanks... way too much device-slavery to me. So sorry for the new generations, forced for greedy companies to a totally unnatural way to live. " There's nothing natural about living with cars or houses or mechanically separated meat, Vlad, where exactly do you want to draw the line?

Over on Phandroid, where you'd expect readers to be quite excited about a new Google and Android product, site writer and thoroughly engaged comment leaver Chris Chavez explained why the pro crowd are so very excited about the Wear range, describing it as: "...essentially Google Glass without the camera and the whole 'looking stupid' part."

Although ScoterMan1 isn't likely to be bothering Google and Motorola's direct sales departments, saying of the device's claim to only bother you when something important is on your personal event horizon: "Let me check my schedule for the next 10 years... nope, nothing."