Instead of launching its own smartwatch as rumored, Google is taking wearables to the next level by announcing its Android Wear platform, an Android based Google Now heavy environment with a keen focus on wearable devices. Android Wear will make its debut in smartwatches, which will appear on smartwatches manufactured by a host of smartphone manufacturers such as ASUS, Samsung, HTC, LG and Motorola. Broadcom, Imagination, Intel Mediatek and Qualcomm have signed on to provide the guts of the devices, while Fossil Group will make sure that the watches are stylish as well as functional. Devices running Google’s Android Wear platform will begin their debuts later this year.
Here are some key features of Android Wear, as outlined by Google:
- Useful information when you need it most. Android Wear shows you info and suggestions you need, right when you need them. The wide variety of Android applications means you’ll receive the latest posts and updates from your favorite social apps, chats from your preferred messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, and more.
- Straight answers to spoken questions. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions, like how many calories are in an avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the game. Or say “Ok Google” to get stuff done, like calling a taxi, sending a text, making a restaurant reservation or setting an alarm.
- The ability to better monitor your health and fitness. Hit your exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android Wear. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.
- Your key to a multiscreen world. Android Wear lets you access and control other devices from your wrist. Just say “Ok Google” to fire up a music playlist on your phone, or cast your favorite movie to your TV. There’s a lot of possibilities here so we’re eager to see what developers build.
Google has also released a Developer Preview of Android Wear, for those developers who want to delve into the world of wearables. Google is promising a seamless experience with most existing Android apps, since Android Wear is heavily customized to reflect Android’s notification services, as well as information gathered from Google Now. Android Wear API’s will be arriving shortly, at which point we’re sure to see a whole slew of apps come to the wearable platform.
Motorola has just taken the wraps off of its Android Wear powered Moto 360, which resembles leaks of the fabled “Google Watch” that have been floating in the rumorsphere for months now.
Check out the videos below to get an idea of what the wristwatch of the future looks like.