Just one day after Google rolled an Android Wear update that includes support for speakers on smartwatches that have them, Glide released an update to its video messaging app that brings support for Android Wear.

That means you can view and respond to video messages from friends and family right from your wrist. But, is that something you would do?


Glide has been available on Apple Watch for nearly a year now, but the company has held off on supporting Android Wear because the operating system hadn’t yet supported speaker functionality until version 6.0.

Now that it is possible to hear the audio of a message right on a compatible wearable, it makes it easier for some users to interact with video messaging without taking their smartphones out of their pocket (although, that covers very few people, since the only android wear smartwatches with speakers are Huawei Watch and the 49mm Asus ZenWatch 2).

Speaker support isn’t as much of an issue as is the awkwardness of viewing and responding to video messages on your wrist.

I know we all imagine a Dick Tracy world where everyone is speaking into their wrist to communicate with one another, but the truth is, it feels weird. Even holding a phone conversation with someone on a smartwatch is awkward and somewhat embarrassing. I’ve done it a handful of times, but only in my car and only when no one else was around.

As for watching the incoming video, the tech trend has moved to larger screens on mobile devices because we want to actually see what is going on. Viewing video on a tiny 1.5-inch screen defeats the purpose of the five or six-inch smartphone.

Getting a notification on a smartwatch that you have an incoming video message makes complete sense. You get a ping. You pull out your phone. You watch the video. You respond accordingly. No one looks at you funny.

Actually interacting with your video message on your wrist is much less elegant and much more disconcerting. A video message comes in. You watch the message with your face six inches from your wrist because the screen is so small. You respond with either a pre-made text (because you can’t use a keyboard) or an audio message, in which case you talk into your wrist. Everyone nearby either rolls their eyes at you for being so pretentious, or they start asking about smartwatches as if you are some kind of tech expert.

If you get a second video chat. Chances are, you take out your phone instead.

The world is ready for wearables in some capacity (no matter what our Editor-in-Chief, may believe). However, I’m not sure the world is ready for all of the futuristic ways smartwatches can be used.

What do you think?

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10 replies on “Would you video chat on your smartwatch?”

  1. We’ve had the technology to do personal video calls since the ’70’s, and it’s never taken off. This is because at a personal level video calls are obtrusive. For example, let’s say you get a video call when you’re not presentable in video format (e.g., naked perhaps), you have to either dismiss the call or answer it in audio only. This puts the caller off in all sorts of subjective ways. Situations like this are common. So it is better to avoid the whole thing all together and just use voice-only. It’s called the telephone.

    On the other-hand, scheduled video calls are common and accepted – they’re called video conferences or Webinars. They happen every day, most often in a business setting, and are always scheduled. That’s a niche where the wearable video thing might have merit. But that’s when you start running into a battery capacity issue – with today’s technology anyway.

  2. It won’t be that popular, well.. until apple releases it on an apple product, then it becomes the thing 🙂

  3. It would be awesome in a way, but at the same time it would be tiring to hold your arm in the position required for the video call.

  4. As far as battery goes i think color e-ink displays should be utilized with front cameras for smartwatches. Im dreaming of the day where we got smartwatches that are waterproof and allow video chat with a 2 year battery time.

  5. If the technology is available somebody will use it. In use the market will decide. It might be useful for somebody somewhere. Who knows.. It’s a world of possibilities after all.
    As for what other people around you think about it – meh.

  6. I wonder if they will add front facing cameras to it. The 2nd generation apple watch is rumored to have one. Though I hate to think what this does to your battery

  7. I’d be less inclined to buy a smart watch with a camera. I really don’t understand this fascination with connected devices that have cameras.

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