The tech world is a risky one to enter and some fads come and go without hardly affecting the market as a whole. Smartwatches were a novel idea a few years ago, but companies selling the same have not had much success in actually making it a profitable investment. And Google's recently released Android Wear 2.0 is basically a goodbye to the technology.
As Business Insider noted, Google has been delaying its Android Wear 2.0 launch for months now. And while it will launch within the week, this does not negate the fact that it has been on the table for a relatively long period of time. And as the publication continues, the update really only has new features that die-hard enthusiasts will notice. Meanwhile, the attention of everyday users, which will undoubtedly bring in the profit, is waning.
Pebble, the company that is often credited with popularizing the concept of a modern smartwatch was forced to shut down because of low sales. The company eventually sold itself to former competitor Fitbit at a deficit. Fitbit, while one of the most recognizable names in the industry, has reportedly let go of 6 percent of its employees after less than expected sales. Apple has simmered down in trying to develop and has instead focused its software on fitness tracking and app notifications. Meanwhile, Jawbone has not released anything into the market in almost two years.
But then there's Google, who is the most recent of companies to take another stab at the smartphone industry. With Android Wear 2.0, it is expected that there would be a revival of interest in the industry, but it looks like the complete opposite is happening. Even Google's partners - Samsung, Motorola and Huawei included - have lost faith in the software.
The publication calls this the decline of the smartwatch. And while the technology itself will not go to waste completely, the idea of a platform that could replace the smartphone is dying. Instead, it is likely that the tech will morph into another platform altogether. But what exactly does Android Wear 2.0, Google's second attempt at smartwatches, offer?
Android Wear 2.0 is launching on new smartwatches from LG that were designed with Google. There are, as The Verge reports, two options: the US$349 Watch Sport and the US$249 Watch Style. Of course, the new OS will also roll out to previous models that still run on the initial generation of the operating system.
The new system included additional features, including Android Pay, LTE connectivity, and an improved Google Assistant. The LTE connectivity finally lets wearers actually leave their handheld devices at home without having to completely sacrifice inactivity. At its core, however, Android Wear 2.0 was designed to improve the little things about a smartwatch that make it a smartwatch in the first place. It provides easier access to notifications and allows more customization.
But is updating and fixing old features and skills enough to save the smartwatch industry? Google's Android Wear 2.0 may be the company's best go at trying to be a hero, but it might just not be enough to entice the public to pick up a new wearable. If past trends are anything to go by, the market will only continue to decline.