Asus Discovers Watch 'Crown' For ZenWatch 2 Android Wear

The watch crown. It's been a part of pocket watches and wristwatches for centuries and decades, respectively. Apple recognized this and made it a central feature of the Apple Watch's interface. And now Asus has recognized it and made it an on/off switch.

Or as Asus would have it, "ZenWatch 2 now includes a metal watch crown, enhancing the user experience by a providing new way to interact with the watch."

"A metal watch crown." It's like poetry, just without any elegance, beauty, or cleverness. And it's like Apple's Digital Crown, only without any actual usefulness.

Here's the promo video:

Asus has a long history of dismissing Apple as a competitor and trying to copy the company at the same time. ZenWatch 2 is one of the first wearables to be announced in the wake of the Apple Watch 2 launch, and while Asus has followed Apple's lead with straps—and that's smart—the "metal watch crown" is typical of the Android OEM's hamfisted attempts to ape Apple innovations without actually adding value.

Think fingerprint sensors that launch apps.

That said, I do admire Asus for getting on board the fashion wagon for ZenWatch 2. Before Apple Watch, smartwatches were geek gadgets aimed at gadget lovers. And they sold accordingly.

Apple harnessed the power of fashion in an effort to make wearable computing approachable and desirable. That effort has paid off in spades, and Apple Watch has so far been a rousing success.

This is the sort of thing that Android makers should copy. Beautiful straps and gorgeous buckles are good ideas, and Asus should be commended for recognizing this and following Apple's lead. The device looks good, and that, too, is good.

But that crown. Or, rather, that on/off switch. It's just so...lame.