For the past couple of years we've noticed a shift in focus of dominant players in the smartphone space. As the smartphone market moves from rapid expansion to a maturing phase, the companies on top don't want to be left behind in the same way the notebook PC vendors were at the start of the smartphone/tablet race.

At the same time, continued reduction in transistor feature sizes and power consumption have enabled a new class of low power SoC. ARM's product offerings in particular extend both up and down the power curve. There's Cortex M for ultra low power devices, often perfect for wearables, and then a range of Cortex A CPUs for higher end wearables all the way up to smartphones, tablets and eventually servers. 

Initial successes in the wearables space were specialized pieces of hardware. For example, pedometers and health trackers like the Fitbits of the world. Most of these designs leverage Cortex M series CPU cores. More recently however we've seen a more serious push into the world of smart watches. Initial plays here were more disorganized in terms of hardware and OS selection, but we're beginning to see some consolidation on the heels of Google's Android Wear announcement. 

At last month's Google IO we saw the first official Android Wear devices launch from LG and Samsung. Later this summer we'll also see the arrival of the Moto 360, an arguably much more appealing Android Wear device thanks to a greater focus on design. I've spent the past couple of weeks with LG's G Watch and am still toying with the best way to present my thoughts on the device. In short it seems like a great platform if you're a developer, but honestly lacks the battery life (I measured under 9 hours of actual use, display on but dimmed on a single charge) and feature set today to really convince me as a consumer.

Last month we soft launched our new Wearables content section at AnandTech, with ARM graciously agreeing to be a launch sponsor. ARM's support will allow us to likely do some wearable giveaways in the not too distant future too.

The path to wearable computing becoming something more substantial however demands a lot of things to change. If we're talking about watches we need better battery life, the functionality needs to improve as well (although I am impressed by some of what's already been introduced for Android Wear). I'm curious to get your thoughts on the wearable space. What would it take for you to add yet another computing platform to your life? Is anyone out there waiting for the perfect smart watch? I know I stopped wearing watches nearly a decade ago, and to go back I'll likely need quite a bit of convincing in terms of a great product.

If you've got thoughts on this space, we'd love to hear them as they'll help shape our coverage going forward. Leave your comments below.

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  • Kevin G - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.
  • Frenetic Pony - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    You'll die anyway when your self driving car crashes, or when the power gets shut off and you starve to death, or etc.

    Implant security is a really interesting sci-fi but also real enough to think about and that's scary (pacemaker hacking) idea though.
  • agent2099 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    agree with the implants idea. I do not want to carry another device.
  • jdrch - Saturday, July 12, 2014 - link

    Couldn't agree more. I stopped wearing a watch in 2004 and don't intend to go back.
  • mike8675309 - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    I concur. As a glasses wearer a highly improved google glass type experience would be great, otherwise I'm just not interested in wearing a watch. I'd much prefer something built in that would have a interface that I can handle with mental input. I would rather them continue to work on display technolgy. The idea of having a portable computer (i.e. todays phones) that is smaller than the current Iphone 5, yet can have a screen as large as the Phablets of today would be a big win. Think something like the flexible display used in the movie Red Planet.
  • ol1bit - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    I'm not a bible thumper, but any implants truly reek of Revelations, aka Mark of the Beast. People are pissed today that the NSA tracks all phone conversation. I'll bet they track all phone locations today as well, so they already know who's phone it is and how many of you just leave your phone behind? An implant would be even worse for government spying. I say a BIG NO THANKS to implants.
  • mike8675309 - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    meh Revelations. There are any number of medical required as well as cosmetic implants used today. I see little to no difference.
  • ddriver - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    How about a suppository? Wouldn't that be the ultimate form of tech nerd self satisfaction?
  • Spunjji - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    It would be nice to be able to tell a die-hard *insert brand here* fan to take their latest plaything and shove it up their backside...
  • ghm3 - Thursday, July 17, 2014 - link

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