The much-touted smartwatch revolution may finally be happening as Google announces its plans to extend Android to wearables, starting with watches.
The company says that they are already working with several big name consumer electronics manufacturers like Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung, as well as chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm and fashion brands like the Fossil Group.
Running Android and powered by using Google Now, the watches will serve up weather and news updates, track your workouts in real-time, identify music tracks, get automatic, passive reminders and notifications from your smartphone apps and let you use your voice to get information.
The company say that they will be offering watches powered by Android Wear later this year, and to promote innovation have invited developers to check out developer.android.com/wear and download a Developer Preview.
Of course, whether al this is going to get people excited or not will be heavily influenced by how these watches look in real life, how long the battery lasts for and how useful they actually prove to be.
That said, we’re awfully keen on the idea of getting Google Now notifications on our wrist and can see how such a device – if delivered well enough – could be a really handy tool.
Two videos have been released to accompany the announcement (above and below). Here’s the full text of their blog post:
Most of us are rarely without our smartphones in hand. These powerful supercomputers keep us connected to the world and the people we love. But we’re only at the beginning; we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with mobile technology. That’s why we’re so excited about wearables—they understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word.
Android Wear: Information that moves with you
Today we’re announcing Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables. And we’re starting with the most familiar wearable—watches. Going well beyond the mere act of just telling you the time, a range of new devices along with an expansive catalogue of apps will give you:
- 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