Google unveils Android Wear software platform for smart watches and wearables

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2014
Google on Tuesday took the wraps off of Android Wear, an initiative aimed at creating a variant of the company's Android mobile operating system that is specially adapted to meet the needs of wearable devices.

Android Wear concept
Motorola's Moto 360 Andoid Wear-powered smart watch | Source: Google


Android Wear will provide hardware partners with access to frameworks for mobile notifications, "OK Google" digital assistant support, built-in health and fitness tracking, and two-way synchronization with Android handsets. The company is also planning third-party application support and envisions an "expansive catalog of apps."

Google will focus its energies on smart watches at first, with other wearables likely to follow if the new platform proves successful. Clothing and accessory maker Fossil, one of the largest manufacturers of so-called "fashion watches" in the world, has signed on to produce one of the first Android Wear-powered smart watches later this year.

"Although still very much in the formative research and development stage, we are committed to playing an active role in the push toward wearable technology and helping to shape the fusion of fashion and technology, Fossil strategy and marketing chief Greg McKelvey said in a release announcing the brand's participation.

Alongside Fossil, a number of consumer electronics and component companies are already on board. Among those announced are manufacturers Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung as well as semiconductor firms Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm.



The announcement comes just under one month after whispers began to emerge of a Google-powered "Nexus" smart watch that would act as a demonstration of Android's capabilities in wearable devices, much like the company's Nexus handsets and tablets do. Google bought smart watch maker WIMM Labs last year in what many believe was a move aimed at preempting Apple's eventual entry.

Android has already made its way onto consumers' wrists in the form of Samsung's first-generation Galaxy Gear smart watch, which was largely panned by critics and faced lackluster sales. Samsung's second attempt dropped Android in favor of the homegrown Tizen operating system, and there is no word on whether the company will consider returning to the Google stable in the product's next revision.

Google has another horse in the wearable race, an Android-powered augmented reality headset called Google Glass. Pundits have lauded Glass for its potential, but reaction has been more muted when it comes to the device's current capabilities.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 123
    Fear of missing out.
  • Reply 2 of 123
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,143member
    Now this looks awesome. Can't wait to get my hands on this.
  • Reply 3 of 123
    connieconnie Posts: 101member

    It will be interesting to see if the rumored Apple smart watch will be better or worse than this Google product.

  • Reply 4 of 123
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member

    Android wearable = competition

     

    Amazon steaming set top box = competition

     

    C'mon, Apple.  Your turn. 

  • Reply 5 of 123
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 504member
    This is nice. Now I hope Apple comes out with its solution and an encryption wrap around it that no one, including Apple, can't access all your connected data.
  • Reply 6 of 123
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Everyone on the Verge is shitting their pants over this concept pic. Why, just because it has a round display? How much information can you really display there? I can already tell I'd be squinting to see stuff displayed there, especially in the sun. And there was no mention of battery life, release date or price.
  • Reply 7 of 123
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,357member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post



    Now this looks awesome. Can't wait to get my hands on this.

    Said no one ever.

  • Reply 8 of 123
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,615member
    I'm actually shocked at what it might look like. While there's been all these different concepts including bands with scrolling displays, some flexible, this one actually looks like. . .

    [B]a watch[/B]. Maybe everyone else has been over-thinking it.
  • Reply 9 of 123
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,143member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    Fear of missing out.

    Missing out on what exactly? Wearables have been around for years and have only been growing each year. Heck, last year wearables made about $8 Billion dollars last year and projected to be around $20 billion by 2017. As far as I know Apple doesn't have a wearable at all on the current market.

  • Reply 10 of 123
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,143member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

     

    Said no one ever.


    Actually I'm seeing tons of people talk about this all over right now. Not everyone want's and Apple believe it or not.

  • Reply 11 of 123
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member

    Until we see one of these in the wild, this is still just a concept video. Call me when this is a real thing. 

  • Reply 12 of 123
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

     

    Until we see one of these in the wild, this is still just a concept video. Call me when this is a real thing. 


     

    It's real. And, at first impression, seems perfect.

    http://moto360.motorola.com/

  • Reply 14 of 123
    I love it the way Apples competitors are copying them even before their product is out.

    Just kidding.

    I'm salivating for the Apple watch like a Pavlovs dog. As for Fossil, I see watches like that as basically disposable, but that makes it easy for developers to start.
  • Reply 15 of 123
    z3r0z3r0 Posts: 230member

    Actually Apple is letting Google and Amazon at el do all its product testing lol

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

     

    Android wearable = competition

     

    Amazon steaming set top box = competition

     

    C'mon, Apple.  Your turn. 


  • Reply 16 of 123
    shahhet2shahhet2 Posts: 143member

    Doesn't look like  concept watch, if it is getting  released in summer.

    Finally SmartWatch that I can think of spending some money. Only missing Apple logo.

  • Reply 17 of 123
    chipsychipsy Posts: 287member
    This Moto 360 is looking really nice.
    If it looks like that and functions well I might buy one.
    Edit: looks like it will launch this Summer
  • Reply 18 of 123
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post



    This Moto 360 is looking really nice.

    If it looks like that and functions well I might consider buying one.

     

    The functioning is the most brilliant part of this entire concept.

    Android introduced actions into their phone notifications with 4.3 that allowed notifications to include quick actions, graphics and and expanded view all from within the notification itself. Android wear takes those advanced notifications with their actions and pushes them to the watch. Developers don't have to do anything and their apps will be 100% compatible.

  • Reply 19 of 123
    chipsychipsy Posts: 287member
    nexusphan wrote: »
    The functioning is the most brilliant part of this entire concept.
    Android introduced actions into their phone notifications with 4.3 that allowed notifications to include quick actions, graphics and and expanded view all from within the notification itself. Android wear takes those advanced notifications with their actions and pushes them to the watch. Developers don't have to do anything and their apps will be 100% compatible.

    That's awesome. Well looking forward to it :)
  • Reply 20 of 123
    sirlance99 wrote: »
    Missing out on what exactly? Wearables have been around for years and have only been growing each year. Heck, last year wearables made about $8 Billion dollars last year and projected to be around $20 billion by 2017. As far as I know Apple doesn't have a wearable at all on the current market.

    You answered your own question.
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