Android Wear had a long journey from this prototype

Google has finally launched its wearables platform with some nice-looking devices to run it, but it was apparently a long road to this point.

Early R&D isn't always pretty... Google+ / Mike Elgan

The first few smartwatches to run Android Wear, Google's wearables platform, are fairly slick and streamlined if a little bulky-looking on the wrist. But they've come quite a long ways from the apparent early prototype above.

The image was taken Wednesday and shared to Google+ on Saturday by Tech News Today anchor Mike Elgan, who says it is a shot of a slide from a Google I/O session on Android Wear.

Clearly this looks like the work of some software engineers screwing around with an Android phone and some straps to play with the general smartwatch concept, but it's still pretty awesome to imagine that this is how products like this get going.

Now I really want to see photos of the Google Glass team working on early "prototypes" with phones strapped to their foreheads.