Google kicks off Android Wear for wearable devices

Motorola announces Android Wear-based Moto 360, which will ship later this year

Google has kicked off an effort to bring Android to wearable devices, reminding everyone that the OS is not just for tablets and smartphones.

Google announced Android Wear, which the company characterized as a "a project that extends Android to wearables," in a Tuesday blog post by Google's Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps.

Google said it will initially focus on getting manufacturers to use Android Wear in smartwatches, but will extend those efforts to a wide range of body-fitting devices. Smartwatches powered by Android Wear will come later this year, Google said. Google is working with companies including Fossil, Asus, LG, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm on smartwatches.

One of the first devices to based on Android Wear is Moto 360, Motorola's first smartwatch. Announced on Tuesday, the smartwatch will become available in "summer" this year, the company said. The smartphone is designed to offer relevant information at the right times, providing e-mail and call notifications and also showing social media posts.

The smartwatch can also take voice commands to do tasks, wrote Motorola's Lior Ron, corporate vice president of product management, in a blog post on Tuesday.

For example, users can voice commands such as "OK Google, tell me sport scores." Users can also use the device for "scheduling an appointment, sending a text, setting an alarm or taking a note," Motorola wrote.

The Moto 360 embodies many of Google's goals for Android Wear, including making apps for smaller screens and enabling new forms of voice interaction. Google said that voice interaction in Android could also be used to call a taxi, send a text message or set an alarm. The idea is to get "straight answers to spoken questions," Google said. Similar technology is already available on some Android smartphones.

Another goal is to get Android Wear devices to interact with larger devices like smartphones, which are faster, have more storage, and tap into 3G or 4G cellular connectivity for cloud services. For example, saying "OK Google" to a smartwatch could provide access to a music playlist on a phone. Such a feature is already available on Samsung's original Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which ran on Android. That smartwatch has since been succeeded by the Gear 2, which is based on Tizen, a Linux-based mobile OS backed by Samsung and Intel.

"There's a lot of possibilities here so we're eager to see what developers build," Google wrote.

Google is also targeting Android Wear at health wearables like fitness bands and trackers, which received a lot of attention at this year's International CES.

Google is providing access to the Android Wear Developer Preview, which provides tools, APIs and an emulator that allows developers to test apps on the Android Wear platform. Android for wearables is based on Android's rich notification system.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

What about this one FormDesigner.pro? I think it's a great platform providing a lot of options, you can collect different data and work w...

Salvador Lopez

Gartner highlights four content marketing platform players as leaders

Read more

Blog Posts

​Why we need to look at the whole brand puzzle, not just play with the pieces

Creating meaningful brands should be a holistic and considered process. However, all too frequently it’s one that is disparate and reactive, where one objective is prioritized at the expense of all others. So, what are the key pieces to the ‘good’ brand puzzle?

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Sign in