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Android Wear goes for chic fashion in its second actGoogle's partnering with brands like Michael Kors and Movado to up its cred on the runway.
I had a meeting with Google at the company's offices in New York last week. I remember walking in not really knowing the details, with Android Wear being the only thing scribbled into my calendar. When I walked into one of the conference rooms, my eyes immediately dropped to the array of smart watches on the table. The fact that they were smart watches weren't a surprise. I mean, I see gadgets all the time, but these were different. They were varied in look and size, and I could see myself wearing some of them. It's no surprise since they were from fashion brands like Movado, Michael Kors, and Emporio Armani. This was Google making it's latest big push to make Android Wear relevent again. And instead of partnering with old standbys like Samsung or Motorola. It was instead, go with the fashion route. The message here is clear, Android Wear isn't about gadget freaks, it's about fashionistas too. I've been pretty sceptical about smart watches in general but it seems to be taking off. Apple keeps crowing about its sales and I've actually warmed up to the Samsung Gear S3 that I've been trying out for the last few months. But Google has so far missed out on this trend. Motorola's Moto 360 watch was the most successful Android Wear product out there, and Motorola stopped making it. Android Wear 2.0 promises to make the software a little easier to use. So Google's making this push with fashion houses who know a thing or two about watches. In the conference room, alongside the head of Android Wear, were half a dozen executives from various fashion companies who Enthusiastically talked about the interest they were starting to see from their customers. What's encouraging is that some of them have opted to make smaller watches, which is handy if you have frail arms like me. Will all this help? I talked with analysts that were skeptical that The fashion brands would really move the needle. And that the haphazard adoption of some Android Wear features meant people wouldn't get a consistent experience. But Android Wear struggled to take a shot out of the gate three years ago, so anything could help.