We took a visit to Google HQ this week to check out any interesting bits and pieces on show at its Christmas in June show. In the event the thing we were most intrigued by was the Google Android Wear section which featured a couple of new devices, including the brand new Samsung Gear Live watch.
The Samsung Gear Live is the latest in a string of smartwatches released by the Korean giant over the past 9 months, and the first to feature Android Wear (AW). The whole point of AW is to move the Android operating system off your phone onto your wrist, so you don’t have to fiddle around with your handset and can get things done with a quick swipe of the watch screen. You can see the full walkthrough in the video below.
The key thing about the new watches (there’s also an LG Android Wear watch out at roughly the same price) is the fact that they’re primarily voice driven, which is a brave expression of confidence by Google in the state of its voice recognition system. In the event the demo you see in the video above was pretty impressive, but we’d need to play with one for a lot longer than just a 10 minute demo to prove to ourselves that voice recognition was actually good enough for general use all the time.
Anyway, we were also impressed by being able to flash your watch as a boarding pass at the gate, using the barcode feature, but whether that’s worth having yet another device to charge is up to the individual. Since Android Wear is clearly still a work in progress – rather like Google Glass, but without all the controversy – we’ll reserve judgment until we see more evidence of exactly what it can do. Stay tuned.