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Google Reportedly Making a Smartwatch, Too

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the competing-for-wristspace dept.

Google 196

judgecorp writes "With Samsung and (reportedly) Apple already making smartwatches, Google has now joined the party, according to a (paywalled) report in the Financial Times. The Google Watch is apparently being made by the Android group, and could have some synergy with Google's other wearable tech — the Glass spectacles. The distinctive thing in Google's patent seems to be having two displays — one for public data and a flip-up one for more private stuff."

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196 comments

Watch! (2)

meowgoesthecat (2872191) | about a year ago | (#43245743)

To go with my glasses?

Re:Watch! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246385)

When the rumor mill said Apple was making one, I thought it was really stupid. Now I think it's really cool.

Re:Watch! (-1, Troll)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43246463)

But Samsung's will be better!

More plasticky!!

And more Samsumgy Software!!!

I wonder if Apple has weekly 'laugh at what we can make others do' meetings.

Re:Watch! (3, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43246485)

I realize I thought the same thing about smartphones, then tablets. "I have a computer and a flip phone that makes calls. What do I want with a portable computer with no mouse?" My reaction just a few seconds ago was "What do I need a smartwatch for? I have a smartphone that tells me the time!"

Sigh. Time to raid the kid's college fund again.

Google Reportedly Making a Smartwatch, Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43245779)

Reinventing the watch

The average Slashdotter . . . (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43245813)

Smartwatches are idiotic! Who would buy a smartwatch except some gullible Apple hipster?

Smartwatches are idiotic! Who would buy a smartwatch except some gullible Apple hipster?

Smartwatches are idiotic! Who would buy a smartwatch except some gullible Apple hipster?

(An Android-based smartwatch comes out)

ZOMG smartwatches are teh roXorz! (Buys and wears one)

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (3, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43245979)

Fanbois are abundant in every camp. Smartwatches remains idiotic.

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (2)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#43246237)

But Dick Tracy wore one!

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (4, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43246261)

I'm trying to grok the distinction between a phone and a watch that makes a phone a legitimate tool and a watch idiotic. Obviously, if the weight or battery life is sufficiently poor, there's a real problem for a watch, but other than that, what's the difference?

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246451)

You make a good point, and Cenan probably wants those kids to get off his lawn.

As long as a charge lasts all day, and it includes fitness tracking/heart-rate monitor, I can use this device.

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43246489)

You mean aside from screen size, right?

I don't want to have to scroll ten times to read a three sentence email.

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43246599)

From what I've heard, screen size will be pretty comparable to average sized modern smart phones, just curved and flexible.

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43246667)

What you've heard? Vaporware != actual products.

Have you tried placing a smart phone on your wrist? Even with curved glass/plastic/screens you'd have to roll your arm back & forth just to read this post.

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43246919)

As UI's go, smartphones suck pretty bad too. I just have a hard time imagining a watch being much worse.

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43247027)

Well, if it is rounded, I am sure Apple has a patent on it and will drive all their sheep, er customers, to buy their curvy watches. Maybe they will have troubles working and tell their customers that they aren't wearing their watch right?

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43247067)

Funny joke.

Not dated at all.

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43247009)

So far they have been, but I'm going to wait and see what Google & Samsung come up, as I refuse to touch Apple products given their current consumer hostility and behavior.

Somehow, I have more hope for something that might actually have some useful functionality from Google, while I fear that Samsung will head for the lowbar of functionality yet add all sorts of mostly useless yet expensive tech to their watch and [try to] sell it for $1k.

My Hamilton auto is in need of repair/replacement(between repair cost and shipping to Switzerland it'd be just as cheap just to buy a brand new one which I've already decided against -- too bad Rolex doesn't make non-blinged to hell(and reasonably priced) watches any longer), so instead of just buying a Casio pathfinder series.

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#43247061)

define smartwatch.

A watch the also monitors my heart beat? I'd wear that.monitors my daily exercise? hell I can thing of a dozen things I'd like to see in a smart watch.
Link it to my phone, and a lot of possibilities open up.
Like tell your watch to beep at a certain time. Literally telling it.

I don't consider any of the idiotic.
Hell, wear it on your right wrist, and it cold auto exchange info when you shake hands.

You just lack the ability to think about something in any positive way.

You will notice, at no time do I talk about the manufacture.

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (1)

antek9 (305362) | about a year ago | (#43246567)

Is everyone forgetting that Sony has had Android powered smartwatches available for quite some time now? It's not exactly rocket science, and anyway, who on earth wants to do smart things on a 1" screen? ;) Wake me as soon as someone starts selling a wrist-holder for my Galaxy Note II, so that I can turn it into a Pipboy 3000...

Re:The average Slashdotter . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246935)

The useful implementation of a smart-watch would be as an add-on to a smart-phone. It would need to pair with the phone, and display notifications as they appear. It would also add the sensors that are in the various "fitness bands", and provide a redundant interface for controlling apps such as the music player and dialer.

The use cases would be:
1. People who like fitness bands, will likely appreciate the tighter integration that would come from using a smart watch and smart phone from the same manufacture.
2. People who get a lot of notifications, (texts, calls they might not answer, calendar events, etc.) will be able to determine if the notification requires immediate attention without the disruption of pulling out their phone.
3. Combined with a headset allows you to operate your phone and music without needing voice control or to take out your phone.
4. makes checking the time slightly quicker.

As long as they can keep the devices under $200 they'll probably sell.

What will not sell is a smart-watch that's a smaller smart phone, and priced at $600. The screen will be too small to be worth using it for anything nontrivial.

fuck google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43245819)

you circle jerking nerds act like google is the god damn second coming of christ combined with obama and moses

Re:fuck google (1)

Thunder6ix (2803395) | about a year ago | (#43245857)

You haven't been reading the comments on /. lately. Google has been getting a ton of flak from the circle jerking nerds.

Re:fuck google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43245931)

Google *is* the circle jerking nerds.

Re:fuck google (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246035)

It would be the first coming of christ, since I'm jewish, you insensitive clod!

Tyranny of Age (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#43245829)

The idea of a smart watch when you already have a smart phone sounds to my old man ears like sneakers that blink lights when you walk. Maybe you have to be young to want blinky sneakers.

Re:Tyranny of Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43245907)

Fair enough.

You have to be old to want an iPhone - I'll keep off your lawn and you keep just keep on buying that Apple gear. It's made for people like you.

Re:Tyranny of Age (2)

irreverentdiscourse (1922968) | about a year ago | (#43245909)

Or maybe you just want to see who is calling you and accept/reject calls or quickly read text messages without having to take your phone out of your pocket? Or get it off your desk or out of your jacket... I don't understand the fuss, old man... I've wanted and envisioned something like this since the first cell phone I owned in the 90's.

Re:Tyranny of Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246003)

There are bluetooth watches that already exist (and have for years, cost about $40-60 depending on style) that do the caller ID for you so you know if you want to answer your bluetooth headset.

Maybe you should try looking for what you want instead of waiting for it to be provided by Google, etc.

Re:Tyranny of Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246187)

Correction, that should have been $40-600.

Re:Tyranny of Age (1)

irreverentdiscourse (1922968) | about a year ago | (#43246263)

If all I wanted was Caller ID I could have gotten a watch with a built in pager in 1995.

Re:Tyranny of Age (1)

Xemu (50595) | about a year ago | (#43246347)

There are bluetooth watches that already exist (and have for years, cost about $40-60 depending on style) that do the caller ID for you so you know if you want to answer your bluetooth headset.

Maybe you should try looking for what you want instead of waiting for it to be provided by Google, etc.

You saythere is already a "smart watch" for 60 bucks. Anybody can afford that. What anybody can afford, nobody desires.

Make a smart watch for 6000 bucks and a premium bling smart watch for $60,000 and see your sales skyrocket!

Re:Tyranny of Age (1)

tech.kyle (2800087) | about a year ago | (#43246535)

Apple might sue you for leaking their business model.

Re:Tyranny of Age (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43245937)

imagine the watch is a bike computer, the nike fuelband or fitbit thingy where it tracks how much you walk, your heart rate, pulse, maybe even add blood sugar

its for people who like to go outside and breath fresh air and not the basement dwellers who are always rooting or ROMing their phones

Re:Tyranny of Age (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43246147)

its for people who like to go outside and breath fresh air and not the basement dwellers who are always rooting or ROMing their phones

Really? Because you can bike and run just fine without any of those.

Re:Tyranny of Age (2, Informative)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43246249)

if you bike say 20 miles on a good day you want to know exactly how far you went, how fast, how much calories, heart rate, etc

Re:Tyranny of Age (5, Funny)

Slyfox696 (2432554) | about a year ago | (#43246291)

if you bike say 20 miles on a good day you want to know exactly how far you went...

My guess would be 20 miles.

Re:Tyranny of Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246313)

I'm on the OP's side. I'd rather work out like Rocky than like Ivan Drago.

Re:Tyranny of Age (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43246399)

if you bike say 20 miles on a good day you want to know exactly how far you went, how fast, how much calories, heart rate, etc

I'm well aware of what a cycle computer does and I used to have one before it fell off, years ago. But you still don't need those things to have a good bike ride. A map and watch will tell you how far you went and how long it took.

Not wanting sports tech gadgets does not imply that you are a basement dwelling nerd. In fact wanting tham makes you a pavement pounding nerd instead...

I, like the old guy prefer to get my dose of nerdiness through other means.

Re:Tyranny of Age (2)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#43246473)

Nah, I'd just want to know that I went from Point A to Point B, had a nice picnic lunch with my wife, and then rode back to Point A. IMONSHO, exercise is for having fun, not accumulating statistics.

Re:Tyranny of Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43247029)

exercise is for having fun, not accumulating statistics.
 
Sure if you're doing it for fun but if you're training for an event or you have health issues you want something better. A guy with a heart condition really should know how hard he's pushing himself. A person who's training needs to keep meaningful track of how well they're progressing.
 
Not everyone is you. Get over it!

Re:Tyranny of Age (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43246579)

Hmm, I already have the Nike+ app on my iPhone. Do I need anything else?

Re:Tyranny of Age (1)

necro81 (917438) | about a year ago | (#43247113)

It depends on how far you want to take your data collecting abilities. Using the smartphone accelerometer, you can measure running cadence pretty reliably (I don't think Nike+ does that, but other apps do). The next step up would be to incorporate a wireless heart rate monitor, which is a strap that goes around your chest that sends your heart rate (and potentially other information) using ANT+ wireless [thisisant.com] . Most smartphones don't have a built-in ANT+ receiver, although there are dongles and apps you can buy to add that functionality.

But if you are running, perhaps carrying your smartphone isn't what you want. So then you are looking at a heart rate monitor watch. But if you ditch the smartphone, then you lose your GPS capability (route, speed, maps, etc.). So then you are looking at a GPS watch. Are you a triathlete? Then you'll want to be able to have a device that can do speed, heart rate, etc. for both biking and running (tracking during swimming usually doesn't work, because the water attenuate the radio signals). But if you've got your ANT+ enabled GPS watch on your bike, then you can also use it to track your wheel speed (independent of GPS speed), pedal cadence and, if you've got enough money, instantaneous power supplied to the pedals. You can also add in temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure. I suspect it won't be long before we see earlobe or fingertip pulse oximeters and blood gluscometers added to the mix. Automatic detection of collisions, falls, accidents, and cardiac arrhythmia is also available.

Oh, wait, you just wanted to go for a run?

Re:Tyranny of Age (3, Insightful)

jovius (974690) | about a year ago | (#43245981)

I don't really think so. Satellite devices like watches and glasses are the next layer of abstraction for smart phones, which have become so big and powerful. Basically you could just carry the cpu or a connectivity component (cpu power can too be shared), and wear yourself with various screens and other paraphernalia to make the device whole. The ubiquitous computing is steadily moving forward.

Re:Tyranny of Age (1)

Annirak (181684) | about a year ago | (#43246705)

Watches have some kind of an allure, much like fountain pens. Just take a look at the Tread 1 [devonworks.com] . It's a beautiful watch and I want one, but I can't have one because it's $20,000. Some people like Rolex's too. Personally, I don't get that one, but that's fine.

If you have a smartphone, you surely must have had at least on occasion where it alerts, but it's awkward to get at it. You'll fish it out if it's important, but you'd like to know if it's important before you do that. For me, this has happened in a few ways: 1) it's raining and I'm outside. 2) it's winter, and the phone is in my pants pocket, which my coat covers. Finding out what the alert was requires removing a glove, and fishing it out of my pocket. 3) I'm in a meeting.

There's another use-case: Suppose you have bluetooth headphones. If you also have a smart-watch, you don't need to get out the smartphone to: 1) see who is calling and/or answer a call. 2) check which track is playing. 3) read a text message or email. 4) skip tracks, adjust volume...
The list goes on. Some of these functions are also covered by the bluetooth headphones, but not all.

Is it necessary for the smartphone to fulfill its purpose? Absolutely not. Can it be convenient to have a tiny UI strapped to your wrist? Absolutely.

Re:Tyranny of Age (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about a year ago | (#43246825)

The idea of a smart watch when you already have a smart phone...

When I read the summary, my first thought was, "can I get one of these instead of a smartphone?"

Yep. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43245859)

And it'll require an internet connection to use.
And they'll dump the server in 3 years and you'll be left with a useless wrist strap.
/bandwagon

Re:Yep. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43246001)

Can you think of any other that they've done that with, or is this an assumption based only on software experiences?

This just in, Google reportedly makes everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43245891)

It seems that Google has its own prototype of nearly everything just waiting for the right moment to release it. What doesn't Google make these days?

Re:This just in, Google reportedly makes everythin (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246025)

What doesn't Google make these days?

Tools for protecting our privacy?

Re:This just in, Google reportedly makes everythin (5, Insightful)

fluffman86 (1006119) | about a year ago | (#43246591)

An RSS reader?

Re:This just in, Google reportedly makes everythin (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43246055)

Friends.

Re:This just in, Google reportedly makes everythin (2)

jandersen (462034) | about a year ago | (#43246091)

What doesn't Google make these days?

Testicular implants.

I guess tomorrow's headline has to be... (5, Funny)

AdamStarks (2634757) | about a year ago | (#43245933)

Microsoft Reportedly Making a Smartwatch, Too, Kinda, Okay-So-It's-Really-Just-A-Surface-Pro-Ducktaped-To-Ballmer's-Forearm

Re:I guess tomorrow's headline has to be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246151)

Considering how "big boned" he is, it may look a little small.

Re:I guess tomorrow's headline has to be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246601)

Pipboy 3000

Re:I guess tomorrow's headline has to be... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43246703)

Forehead would be a much funnier visual.

creepshot (1)

markhahn (122033) | about a year ago | (#43245969)

the purpose of google glass is obviously creepshots and/or the virtual naked filter. how does wrist-mounting help? maybe the pulse sensor at your wrist can trigger image/video capturs whenever your pulse is elevated? what could ever go wrong with that!?!

pulse and galvanic skin response-driven advertising, where have you been all my internet!

Re:creepshot (3, Insightful)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about a year ago | (#43246105)

You know there is a lot of energy to be harnessed kinetically by rapid repeated forearm motions caused by the creepshots and the virtual naked filter...

Re:creepshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246549)

As well as taking occasional under the table candid snapshots of ladies "knees". Next up, Google Smart shoes with an up-skirt camera. Fun for ages 10 and up!

Barbra Streisand Effect? (0)

pablo_max (626328) | about a year ago | (#43246081)

I have to wonder if Apple was seriously ever even working on an "iWatch" before the 24hr news cycle pundits started the hype.
Once that happened, no one wanted to let Apple get the upper hand and so started making their own watch, to which Apple said, hey, we need an iWatch too!

I just cannot imagine this being successful. You would look like the biggest douche-bag in the world walking around with an iWatch. Fan boys of course will deny it and think about how cool they are, but nope...you really will be a D-Bag.

Still, there are loads of people that will buy it just because they want to be seen having an Apple product, no matter moronic it is. So, maybe it will take off.

Personally, I like a quality watch. Solid construction and precision movements with rhodium-plated finish. I like my watch to tell me the time and possibly the date.
Mostly, it should be lovely.
A smart watch is a hunk of plastic and metal crap on your wrist that has about as much precision construction as 1970's communist block apartment building.

Re:Barbra Streisand Effect? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246155)

I'm pretty sure the success of the Pebble on kickstarter had a bunch of companies realize there was a market where they didn't think there was one.

The Pebble was a great big success, now the big boys want to cash in on someone else's risk.

The trouble is they don't understand the point of the Pebble or why it would be popular or the scope of users who would strap one on, so I expect these offerings to be pretty weak from major competitors like Apple/Google/(and who knows) Microsoft

Re:Barbra Streisand Effect? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43247013)

To be fair the pebble didn't exactly fill me with confidence that they had the ability to make a good product.

The promo shots on the kickstarter showed all the "analog" faces were cut off because the scaled the watch face to the longer of their screen dimensions.

I'd be more inclined to try the apple version over the pebble just because Apple generally doesn't fuck up simple crap like that.

Re:Barbra Streisand Effect? (3, Insightful)

c (8461) | about a year ago | (#43246219)

Once that happened, no one wanted to let Apple get the upper hand and so started making their own watch, to which Apple said, hey, we need an iWatch too!

It's not exactly rocket science.

The interest in the Pebble shows there's a market. Sony's had a smartwatch out for quite a while, although apparently while it's great when it works, their software is buggy as hell. Too bad, because they jumped in early enough that they could have owned the market.

The trend towards larger and larger phones means that the whip-out-ability of the average smartphone has been rapidly dropping, to the point where pulling out your phone to check the time isn't even close to handy or discrete. On top of that, with always-on connectivity and a boatload of online services, the notification/interruption rates are increasing.

So there's arguably a place for a small, always visible "front end" that allows the phablet to live in a pocket or purse until the larger display is needed.

Re:Barbra Streisand Effect? (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#43246333)

they jumped in early enough that they could have owned the market

This is a recurring theme with Sony, they are to consumer products what Xerox PARC was to computing. Good ideas but shitty implementation, frequently combined with ridiculous DOA rates.

Re:Barbra Streisand Effect? (1)

c (8461) | about a year ago | (#43246805)

Uh... sorry. I guess I've been around so long now that I forget that when I write "Sony fucked up", not everyone automatically adds "again".

Re:Barbra Streisand Effect? (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43246423)

It is likely that Apple was looking at this as there is some demand for watch device to interface with a mobile device. This watch could have caller ID, speakerphone, email, and text possibilities.

The interesting thing about the Google watch is there already seems to be a number of watches that interface well with android phones, with interfacing with iPhone to a lesser degree. For android I think Motorola has a car set that will even read the message. So it is not clear if a Google watch is really going to be what we might be expecting from Apple, which is a device connected to the Phone, or something else.

What is a surprise is that MS did not come out with a connected watch at the same time as the new phone.

Once the electronics are fit into a watch type space, it can be put into any case, as fancy as one wants. On can imagine that the time, analog or digital, can be imparted on the crystal for use as a watch, and then removed so that one can see the text display underneath.

Re:Barbra Streisand Effect? (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#43246607)

A regular watch in the modern age is mostly an ornament: pretty but pointless, as you can get the right time pretty much anytime from any number of sources. Your phone, for one. With that said, I love quality watches too...

A smart watch on the other hand is functional: you wear it mostly because of the useful functions it provides, much like the (fugly) calculator and database watches of the 80s. Still, such a watch does not have to be ugly, it can be nice-looking and well made.

Re:Barbra Streisand Effect? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43246829)

When I'm in a meeting or in a middle of a conversation, I can quickly look at my watch to see if I need to leave for my next appointment without having to take my phone out of my pocket or scout around for a clock and hope that it has the correct time.

You don't actually believe that people don't get annoyed when you pull out your smartphone to see what time it is.

That is what makes one a Douche-bag (1)

pablo_max (626328) | about a year ago | (#43247059)

"I can quickly look at my watch to see if I need to leave for my next appointment without having to take my phone out of my pocket or scout around for a clock and hope that it has the correct time."

If I am in a conversation with someone and they check their watch for appointments i the middle of our conversation, then I may just tell you to piss off.
Also, why are you not able to know when you have an appointment before you step into my meeting? Is your time so much more valuable than mine that you cannot be bothered to check your fucking calendar before you except a meeting?

Re:Barbra Streisand Effect? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43246797)

Just when you thought the iPod nano on a wristband craze was over, someone had to restart the smart watch fad all over again.

No worries. It's been an on again/off again thing since the Casio calculator watch...

Re:Barbra Streisand Effect? (1)

Crookdotter (1297179) | about a year ago | (#43247083)

Wasn't there all this with the iphone though? Ooooh look, it's MASSIVE! You'll look like a dork holding that big thing next to your ear.

Personally, I like the idea of a smart watch, phone and glasses. Battery life should be a priority I imagine, and any improvements in that tech will flow out to phones pretty much immediately I'd say. I think of it as a smartphone wrapped around your wrist that will be monitoring your pulse. Anything else it can access by skin contact to determine health?

I don't know, but a monitoring system that can auto alert the paramedics upon a clear heart attack, even if you're alone - will call and give gps, and there's a prior, crude datalog of heart activity beforehand? Count me in. It might even be able to say - hey dude, I've been monitoring your heart activity over the past year, and you should go see a doctor to look at X Y Z more carefully! That's a watch that I want.

Why should they make a watch? (2)

MMC Monster (602931) | about a year ago | (#43246085)

How about using Google Glass and machine vision to overlay the time on your wrist?

Time Overlays (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246179)

Hell with that. Use it to overlay the time on breasts.

Then, when some chick is all in the face about "hey, I'm up here" you can fire right back with "yeah, I was just checking the time"

Re:Why should they make a watch? (1)

Graydyn Young (2835695) | about a year ago | (#43246181)

Glass isn't looking all that good for overlays. It doesn't incorporate your whole field of vision; just a small square in the top right corner. Think less AR, more HUD.

Re:Why should they make a watch? (1)

safetyinnumbers (1770570) | about a year ago | (#43247007)

Glass isn't looking all that good for overlays. It doesn't incorporate your whole field of vision

This could cause the failure of Glass. So many people think it can do AR, for instance, that recent article about it recognizing your friends from their outfits - how would it show their position?

It will probably be an impressive product in its own way, but there's going to be a lot of disappointment when people use it due to these expectations.

It's the Emperor's New Augmented Reality.

Re:Why should they make a watch? (1)

bitslinger_42 (598584) | about a year ago | (#43246393)

I see Glass and GWatch (Glastic?) as being complimentary products. Glass is the HUD, Glastic the touch input interface. That way, I can play Angry Birds Star Wars during meetings without having my screen displaying the game or flailing my arms around like an idiot :-)

is there just NO originality anymore? (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | about a year ago | (#43246127)

"Look, someone's making a touchscreen phone, quick, lets make one too!"

"Look, someone's making a touch tablet, quick, lets make one too!"

"Look, someone's making a smart watch, quick, lets make one too!"

OK this is getting sickening, you can stop now.

Re:is there just NO originality anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246517)

"Look, someone's making a carriage pulled by horses, quick lets make one too! But with no horses!"

Copying is half of invention. It causes innovation. I'm sure the mechanical wristwatch community is also complaining about this.

Re:is there just NO originality anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246709)

They're not making replicas of each other's products. They're trying to make theirs better. Who would want competition though, right? Competition is so completely terrible at spawning innovation.

Re:is there just NO originality anymore? (4, Insightful)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year ago | (#43246791)

If Apple "announces" a new product coming out in three months, and the following week Samsung and Google announce that they have a competing product coming out in three months, do people really believe that they are all just trying to copy Apple? Product development just doesn't happen that quickly.

Must be executed correctly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246195)

I think a "smartwatch" could be a good addition to anyone's gadget arsenal as long as its designed correctly. Long battery life, eInk screen (LCD just won't work that well on a watch), and small and unassuming form factor. I think pebble (http://getpebble.com/) has the right idea. If these smartwatches end up being essentially smartphones strapped to your wrist, I don't see them succeeding.

I have a Google SmartWatch already (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | about a year ago | (#43246253)

Alright it's not built by them. they bought it from Motorola. It's called a Motoactv and Google hasn't done anything with it yet. there has been no development on it since Google bought Motorola out and I hope that if this is true they start doing something with it.

I would defiantly buy another one once this one dies. I just, like everyone, would love more features and longer battery life.

Here is part of a post I've posted about it before.

It's a great device it's an MP3 player, exercise tracker that ties into a heart rate monitor or cadence sensor for biking, displays calories burned and number of steps taken in a day, It's got golf courses on it so you can see the distance stuff needed to play and keep your scores (I don't play golf), it has a GPS to show your route (wish it was more interactive on what you can do other than just see your you just ran) and the statistics that it keeps for your workouts. When tired into the website (it also has a android app) I can see exactly where I was on a map and show what my heart rate was, what song I was listening to at that moment, speed of my run, elevation of where I was. It tells time to. But it doesn't have an alarm clock also it doesn't vibrate, during workouts there is a coach that gives you information it's an electronic voice (a nice female sounding voice) , The device allows you to also race yourself with tones of if your running better or slower against your last workout. It's Bluetooth enabled so you can use Bluetooth headphones and also for notifications from the phone - weather, facebook, etc. Also has the ability to have a corded headphones if you want and you can then also use it as a radio. It's water resistant so a run in the rain is not a problem, wish it was water proof. Also it has to be charged every day. I really love it. I'm just said that once it dies I will not be able to get a replacement, although there are other ones that are out there that have gps and tie into online exercise communities they don't have an mp3 player built in. I do wish the battery lasted longer but when I'm not running I'm sitting at my computer so I let it charge then. https://motoactv.com/ [motoactv.com]

Spectacles, ???, wallet and watch (1)

tippe (1136385) | about a year ago | (#43246317)

So now we have a Google watch to add to the existing Google Spectacles and Google Wallet. I still feel like there's something missing to make the series feel complete...

Re:Spectacles, ???, wallet and watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43247055)

pocket protector?

I've had a Calculator watch... (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#43246337)

...and I'm not interested in buying another one. In fact, I like the fact that I no longer have to wear a watch. My cell phone has become my watch.

My initial thought is that smart watches are being developed to appeal to the fitness industry. The aim is to replace the "feature" watches which record your steps, heart rate, etc. much like smart phones have replaced feature phones.

Now, if they came out with a smart roman arm guard.... After all, it would have enough space for a virtual keyboard.... (grin)

Re:I've had a Calculator watch... (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year ago | (#43246811)

Now, if they came out with a smart roman arm guard.... After all, it would have enough space for a virtual keyboard.... (grin)

That was my reaction to someone else who posted that Apple's watch would have the same screen size as a smartphone. "Um, that isn't a watch, it's a bracer."

Is this fad stupid or clever? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#43246573)

Oh, Nigel Tufnel, you were so right about that thin line.

I think most people's reaction today is that they don't want a wearable computer, because if capabilities were equal, then pocketable computers are simply be more pleasant to use. They get out of your way when they're unwanted, and they don't leave you with a sweaty body part at the end of the day. And capabilities aren't equal; the pocketable computers will be bigger and therefore more capable.

I feel like I agree with that: the idea of putting a watch on my wrist seems alien and uncomfortable.

Twenty years ago, though, it sure seemed ok to me. And I'd like to remind people, that a hundred years ago, the norm for watches [wikipedia.org] was that they went into pockets, and from there we shifted to wearables. This really happened. This happened, upon a medium of civilization full of people just like you. How/why? Unless you can explain why the fashion changed from pocket to wrist back then, then I'm not sure I can accept arguments for how it can't change again.

All that said, just like everyone else, I don't think I want one. My point is that it's hard to predict whether or not the prevailing opinion will persist.

Re:Is this fad stupid or clever? (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#43246677)

The fashion also used to be to dress baby boys in pink and baby girls in blue. Pink was considered too harsh a color for girls. So I think we can all agree you cannot predict what the masses will want next.

Re:Is this fad stupid or clever? (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#43246849)

Twenty years ago, though, it sure seemed ok to me. And I'd like to remind people, that a hundred years ago, the norm for watches [wikipedia.org] was that they went into pockets, and from there we shifted to wearables. This really happened. This happened, upon a medium of civilization full of people just like you. How/why? Unless you can explain why the fashion changed from pocket to wrist back then, then I'm not sure I can accept arguments for how it can't change again.

All that said, just like everyone else, I don't think I want one. My point is that it's hard to predict whether or not the prevailing opinion will persist.

The Wikipedia article that you referenced actually has a good explanation for the change from pocket watches to wrist watches. Women wore wrist watches as jewelry, because they didn't have pockets. Men didn't wear them until WWII when: "During the war, soldiers needed access to their watches while their hands were full. ". Wrist watches made telling the time easier while working in a labor or manufacturing based job where your hands were full.

Now, most people, in first world nations at least, no longer work in a manual labour job, so our hands are free to pull out our smartphone, check the time, and catch up on things. Because our hands aren't full most of the time, we no longer need a watch...

yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246639)

Funny how it's a fact that Apple is making a smartwatch. Will it ship before their TV? lol

Hope it doesn't try to data link with phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246647)

Because Android's Bluetooth support sucks.

EVERYBODY is late to the game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246669)

IBM did it first - in 2001

http://www.freeos.com/articles/3800

So Linux has been there already - and for 12 years at least.

Nothing new there...

Problem: No one under 35 wears watches anymore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246723)

With the only exception of stylish brand name watches worn for fashion reasons. The "Smartwatch" is going to be DOA

Imagining the possibilities (4, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43246725)

I can think of lots of applications for a device attached to your body, and telling time is far down on that list.

(Since I work mostly within view of computers I haven't worn a watch in my professional life ever. Nowadays with smartphones, the need is even less.)

Can bone conduction work with a watch-like device? You could hear your phone ring without disturbing anyone else, and if you could identify the ringtone you could tell how important the call is.

Would body measurements be useful? Heartbeat, temperature and blood oxygenation seem obvious. Would it help your doctor rule out certain diseases to know the characteristics of the fever - spiky/continuous, low/high level, exact date of onset?

Could the device make fitness measurements? Tell how much exercise you're getting per week, let you know when to get out more and which type of exercise best meets your goals?

If there's an embedded accelerometer, can the instrument detect tossing/turning at night? With the blood oxygenation, could it detect sleep apnea? Snoring? Other sleep disorders?

Could the device detect dust levels in the manner of a [non-radioactive] smoke detector? Would this be useful for people to monitor their allergies?

I once worked with a scientist at Berman Gund laboratories (Boston) who was amazed [at the time] that you could put a microprocessor on a lanyard connected to a light sensor mounted on the patient's eyeglasses. He wanted to see if the progression of Retinitis Pigmentosa correlated with the amount of light entering the patient's eyes.

Light sensors [google.com] are now cheap and tiny.

Does the amount of light in a user's environment correlate with depression? With SAD? Does fluorescent light correlate with depression? Does brightness matter or total daily duration?

Will it have a GPS receiver? Could it display an arrow and distance information?

Lots of applications here. Telling time is almost an afterthought.

sudo (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#43246759)

Make me a sandwich, too.

Will they replace smartphones? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43246925)

My problem with wearing *any* type of watch is durability. Will it's screen get scratched? Will the pins that secures the wriststraps break? I've lost watches (cheap Casios, thankfully) because of this. When cellphones (that had the time) became affordable was when I stopped needing to wear a watch. So unless these have some killer app like a 24/7 blood pressure monitor, they'll just be "Look what I can afford" fashion statements.

Re:Will they replace smartphones? (1)

Graydyn Young (2835695) | about a year ago | (#43247011)

One also needs to note, that a watch is unlikely to have the screen real estate need for texting/email. Even when paired with Glass, I'm having a hard time seeing how this tech can replace our phones.
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