Why Apple can’t match Google’s all-seeing new smartwatches

Why Apple can’t match Google’s all-seeing new smartwatches
By Christopher Mims @mims an hour ago
Apple is a fantastic hardware company. And when the rumored iWatch (probably) arrives, it will no doubt be a thing of beauty. But there’s good reason to think that the key to a successful smartwatch won’t be its hardware, but its operating system.Apple’s genius is in creating personal computing devices that invite us to linger over them and inspire developers to create the best possible apps. But that beautiful hardware may not be enough to compete with the simplicity and the ability to harness huge amounts of data that are built into Google’s smartwatch operating system, Android Wear. Google’s OS, which it released on demos this week, will run on a variety of watches from manufacturers including Asus, HTC, LG, Samsung, Intel, Qualcomm, Motorola and Fossil Group.
Smartwatches are, in some ways, a much tougher design problem than smartphones or PCs. (Witness the failures of Samsung’s and Sony’s smartwatches.) Their tiny screens make it hard to direct their actions—to tap out an email, go to a web page, find a favorite song. So Google has reasoned that it should work the other way around. A smartwatch should have almost no interface at all. It should know where you are and what you want before you do. And that makes it the perfect fit for one of Google’s most innovative and rapidly improving bits of software, Google Now, which is part of Android.
Knowing your needs better than you do is something Google has been working on for a long time. The umbrella term for it is predictive search. Here’s a simple example: Most of us probably pop open a weather app at some point in our morning routine. Given how predictable this is, why should our devices wait for us to signal to them that we want to know the weather? Why not just tell us?
That’s what Google Now is all about. Instead of giving you information through apps or a web browser, Google Now shows you a bunch of virtual cards that already have the information you (probably) need at that moment. Just swipe a card away to get to the next one. You can see it in action in Google’s demo of Android Wear.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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