Android Wear presents timely competition for Apple Watch

Android Wear presents timely competition for Apple Watch

Android Wear presents timely competition for Apple Watch

Written by Staff Writer

07 Dec, 2015 | 3:21 pm

The wristwatch has been a fashion accessory for almost 450 years, but technology has transformed what was once a mere timepiece into a $30 billion industry. At the heart of this movement is the Apple Watch, a reimagining of the wristwatch that has turned the space on its ear by marrying wearable tech wizardry with sleek, modern design.

With the inclusion of tech, something else interesting has also happened to the humble wristwatch: It has developed the potential to be a valuable business tool, as well.

With 38 different watches available, Apple has called its Watch the most personalized device it has ever created. But there’s still a chance for a competitor, like Google Android Wear, to take a bite out of the Apple Watch market share — and enterprise usability just might be a key point of difference.

Android Wear devices offer many tools and services that can positively impact the daily life of corporate users. Android Wear’s biggest value-add for both regular consumers and professional users is the ability to communicate through the smartwatch itself. Because it syncs to your phone, all of your alerts and notifications get pushed directly to your wrist — and that wrist vibration can keep you from missing calls in meetings or in loud occupational environments like server rooms or manufacturing floors.

Plus, those who travel for work will benefit from Android Wear’s travel cards, which pop up when a trip is scheduled in your Google calendar. This means QR codes for boarding passes load to your wrist, as do hotel reservations, local traffic conditions and turn-by-turn driving directions, when needed.

Features like these might be Google’s ticket to get ahead in the smartwatch segment. There are many potential paths to this possibility — but here are three ways it could finally pluck Apple Watch from its place at the top of the heap.

To date, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Asus and Sony have all released Android Wear watches. Those brands have one thing in common: None of them are watchmakers.

On the other hand, the Swiss produce only a little more than 2 percent of the world’s watches, but capture more than half the global watch revenue. They produce some of the finest watches in the world, and Swiss watchmakers have accumulated thousands of patents that cover everything from clasps to mechanical function. Even the watch faces themselves are valuable: In 2012, Apple reportedly paid $21 million to the Swiss Federal Railway service to use its iconic watch-face design for the clock in iOS6.

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