Apple might be building a smartwatch that would display your iPhone notifications on your wrist. Google is definitely building a set of smartglasses that will display your Android notifications on a small display in front of your right eye.
So, reader, what say you: Would you rather wear an iWatch, or Google Glass? Would you rather be dorky in the face, or on the wrist? Four Eyes, or Nerd-Hand?
It's a battle between so-called "wearable devices" that might soon be raging, in a classic war of Face vs. Fist, should Apple choose to release its smartwatch. Both the iWatch and Google Glass are devices that could shift the way we interact with the Internet and with each other over cellular networks. Both are obviously worn on the body, in locations where the most popular smart-devices are not currently worn.
To catch up the laggards on the two gadgets we're comparing and dissecting: The iWatch is a wristwatch-like device that Apple has been rumored be making in two big stories this week, running in the decidely august pages of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal (heard of 'em?). It is assumed that the iWatch would use curved glass to wrap around the wrist and link up to the iPhone in your pocket, probably via Bluetooth; that glass would display many of your notifications, removing the (oh-so-cumbersome!) need to remove your phone from your pants.
So, for example, an iWatch might show your text messages or emails; it could contain an NFC chip to make mobile payments by tapping the watch against the checkout container; or it could contain Siri, so that you could talk to your watch and get an answer back through a small speaker, all on your wrist.
On the other hand (ha!), you're probably already familiar with Google Glass (or "Google Glasses," as we all used to call them back when we didn't know any better), which Google says will be available for purchase later in 2013. Like the proposed iWatch, Google Glass can show you information from several different apps that you would normally view on your phone: emails, text messages, walking directions, maps and so on -- but on a small display in front of the eye.
So which would you rather have? Would you be too embarrassed or self-conscious (or easily-distracted) to wear Google's futuristic headband on your dome? Do you see a need for a wristwatch to supplement your smartphone?
The idea behind both the smartwatch and the smartglasses -- at the risk of speaking for Apple and Google, respectively -- is increased convenience. For Google Glass, Sergey Brin often talks about the glasses letting technology "get out of the way" -- that is, the information is there when you need it, and the screen is blank and transparent when you don't. You don't have to interrupt a conversation, or stop walking, in order to pull out your smartphone to get directions.
Presumably, a smartwatch would work the same way: You wouldn't have to dig into your pocket or purse to glance at a text message on your watch.
So, pony up and answer our poll, and then discuss in the comments. I'm interested to hear how consumers might vote with their wallets: on a watch or on glasses. Ignore the brands for now -- just tell me which concept (smartglasses or smartwatch) intrigues you more, and whether you would wear either a smartwatch or smart-spex on a daily basis
Follow Jason Gilbert on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gilbertjasono