Google Introduces Android Wear, An Operating System For Wearables

After conquering the smartphones space, Google has set its sight on the next big thing on the horizon. Wearable gadgets. In a blog post earlier today, the company's SVP for Android, Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai announced the birth of Android Wear, an operating system for wearable gadgets – more specifically, smartwatches - in its current form. Before we go on to describe how it would look like and what are the things you would be able to do with it, watch this video by Google that would give you a brief idea on the things you could do with an Android Wear powered device of tomorrow.

The Google blog post goes on to add that Wear would give smartwatches the ability to provide you with relevant information and suggestions, right when you are in need of it. Think of it as a wearable extension of Google Now. Wide support for apps means the user would continue to receive important posts and updates from social media and chats from IM clients without having to look for your phone. Android Wear would also incorporate a powerful notifications center.

It would support the now famous "Ok Google" command to invoke speech recognition using which you can speak to your smartwatch and ask it to do things for you. As expected of a smartwatch, the platform would also be designed to be a key health assistant. Apart from reminding you of your exercise and fitness goals, it will also give you real time distance, speed and an overall picture of your health. Another key thing Google touts about Android Wear would be its ability to "pair" with multiple devices and control them all from one device on your wrist.

Google plans to bring the first of the Android Wear based devices by the end of 2014. The search giant has already inked partnerships with Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group in order to start working on devices which you could be wearing to work sometime next year.

Engadget reports that LG would be the first brand to come up with an Android Wear powered device and in most likelihood, it could be the LG G Watch, pictured below. As of now there are no details regarding the LG G Watch with regards to its price, date of release or even an acknowledgement from Google that such a thing exists.

LG G watch
The LG G Watch

That said, it would be interesting to note what happens to existing smartwatch platforms that the likes of Sony and Samsung have built. The latest Samsung Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo for example does not run on a modified Android platform like the first generation Galaxy Gear did and is based on Samsung's own Tizen. Would these companies abandon these projects midway to join the Wear bandwagon?

In case you are a developer and are keen to develop apps for Google Wear, the company has added a section on their website which would from now on, only deal with wearable technology. The section currently offers a Developer Preview for download. They also promise an Android Wear SDK in the next few months. Here is a video for developers.

Do you think the arrival of Google Wear would change the way we look at Smartwatches of the future?

Image Via Engadget