Google is extending the Android operating system to smartwatches with the launch of Android Wear. Manufacturers including Motorola and LG have already announced the upcoming release of smartwatches that will make use of the new operating platform.
The new smartwatch operating system will leverage Google’s Voice Search and Now capabilities to serve relevant information to smartwatches .
“We designed an entirely new UI specifically for this form factor. It’s really based around voice and contextual information thats reactive to your surroundings,” said Android designer Alex Faaborg.
“There’s really only two components the information that most relevant to you, and the ability to speak to it and do a click command.”
Android Wear smartwatches will respond to the cue “okay Google” in the same way Google’s Voice Search does. The device will be able to answer questions, action instructions and keep track of exercise goals.
Google will work with fashion designers and consumer electronic brands, including Motorola and LG, to spur the adoption of the new software. Android’s director of engineering, David Singleton, said “we’re working with consumer electronics manufacturers, chip makers and fashion brands who are committed to fostering an ecosystem of watches in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes.”
Motorola and LG
Motorola and LG will be amongst the first manufacturers to release Android Wear smartwatches with first generation devices expected to launch in mid 2014.
LG officially announced its G Watch will be the first Android Wear device available in the second quarter of 2014. The company claimed to have worked closely with Google during the development of the G Watch; however, no specifications were revealed during the announcement.
Infamous leaker Evleaks suggests the smartwatch will have a 1.65in, 280x280 resolution screen, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.
Motorola unveiled the moto 360, a round-faced smartwatch that will come with metal and plastic wristbands. The company expects it will be released in overseas markets by the third quarter of 2014.
Google’s foray into the smartwatch market follows Samsung’s firm efforts with its Gear devices. 800,000 Galaxy Gear devices were shipped two months after its release, and Samsung is increasing the stakes with the upcoming release of three new Gear devices.