Google Introduces MODE: Snap & Swap bands for Android Wear Smartwatches
Part of the beauty of owning a watch with standard wristband sizes is the ability to purchase new bands to swap them out with. If you don’t like the look and feel of a particular band, you can always go online or to your local jeweler for something new.
However, most OEMs of Android Wear smartwatches do not offer standalone bands for you to purchase if you were looking to purchase an official replacement band. This is one area where Apple shines – the quick releasing straps coupled with Apple’s plethora of available band options gives you a large amount of customization options.
Fortunately, Google is looking to remedy this problem with the introduction of MODE watch bands. Touted as a “band for every moment”, these watch bands, designed by Hadley-Roma, feature different styles that you can quickly snap and swap onto your Android Wear smartwatch (… or really, any watch with the appropriate wrist size). All you need to do is use the spring bar tool that comes with the purchase of a MODE band to install the spring locking mechanism on your watch, and then you can easily snap-and-swap the bands you purchase in seconds. You have many different options to choose from. For now, there are 16 colors and 4 band sizes to choose from (the sizes being 16, 18, 20, and 22 mm).
Compatible Android Wear smartwatches include both generations of the ASUS ZenWatch, the Fossil, Huawei Watch, LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch, LG G Watch Urbane, second generation Moto 360 (all models), and the Samsung Gear Live. Certain smartwatches such as the Sony Smartwatch 3, Moto 360 first generation, and LG Watch Urbane 2 won’t be compatible with a MODE band due to their non-standard band sizes.
Looking to purchase a set of these bands? You can buy them from the Google Store, Amazon, or BestBuy starting today. You’ll be set back $50 for a silicone sport band and $60 for a “Genuine Italian” leather band. Sounds expensive? Not to worry, because MODE is more than just a set of bands. The attachment technology they’re using is “open source”, and according to Google they will be working with other manufacturers to make third-party MODE compatible bands. Since the latching mechanism used in MODE is proprietary, this means that other manufacturers will need to meet the requirements set forth by Google in order to market their third-party MODE bands.
It’s a cool idea, albeit a bit expensive at this moment. In order to really make effective use out of this, you would need to purchase several bands. Doing so could cost you hundreds of dollars at this time, which is enough to purchase an Android Wear smartwatch itself! I doubt it will take long for third parties to come up with and sell their own MODE compatible bands on online retailers, though.
Will you be purchasing a MODE band? If so, tell us which one below!
Source: Android Wear MODE