The new Android operating system for wearables looks great. And, apparently, is a clear signal of new things to come in the industry. Android Wear might become the next new and shiny toy for your teenagers but it won’t move the needle for businesses in the next couple of years.
Why, you might ask? Well, in this new device class the monetization king will be micro content (a.k.a notifications). And no social network (except perhaps for Twitter), search engine of mainstream portal has made a full deployment of micro content services. In the coming years we can expect a new wave of applications that take advantage of this new device class. But ads won’t make it into this platform for a very long time, and that is bad news for small business owners in need of growth. Barriers to entry into the “smart watch stream” include the creation and distribution of new applications, content repurposing and more intense competition for even scarcer digital real estate.
In this scenario it’s simply best to wait. Wearables are a completely new game that we’ll have to learn in the coming years.
UPDATE: The Apple Watch has just been announced. This new platform will make application development a little bit more accesible for small developers and fragmentation won’t be a problem for Apple’s ecosystem. This should, if anything, accelerate smart watch adoption and lower the bar for small developers.