Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Google Time Concept Smartwatch

I’ve been interested in the idea of a smartwatch ever since the concept first started becoming popular, but as of now have yet to find a device that I felt would actually work for me. Of the current options, all are too expensive for the features they provide, and each has its own drawback that has made me put off even giving one a try for a short time. While the concept that you see above is about as far from becoming reality as it gets.

The entire Google-based smartwatch concept was made by UI designer Adrian Maciburko, who actually made up a fairly complete set of UI elements and interactions. All of the UI elements are based off of existing Google products as well, making the entire device look like a perfect match for an Android smartphone. The concept includes quite a few different displays on two different sized smartwatches as well, and even includes gesture and navigation ideas.

This theoretical watch has a sort of Google Now view, and could potentially show some active cards on the square version. It also has features for messages, calendar events, Google+, and weather, which is all standard smartwatch fare. However, the the way it is presented on the concept smartwatch is so clean and looks so sensible that it is something that I would readily use. Whereas so far smartwatch software has always struck me as at least a little bit awkward, this concept makes the watch look perfectly natural to use, and quite elegant at that.

Obviously, part of the allure of this design is that it is presented on a nearly impossibly thin watch with an almost nonexistent bezel, which is something that I realize will have to be sacrificed for battery power, a good display, and Bluetooth connectivity. Still, I like this concept software quite a lot, and think that if applied to existing smartwatch hardware, it would make such devices much more appealing. Of course, that probably won’t happen any time soon as I’m sure there are complications I have no idea about in converting this art into software, but we can always hope. For now, I’ll be looking at current smartwatch offerings, and trying to decide whether I would prefer the square or circular version of the “Google Time” smartwatch if it ever does get released.

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