After much speculation, Google has finally announced they are entering the wearables market. The announcement was made official on the Google Blog where they described how they plan to use this technology to help people live their lives. Whether in your car, pocket or wrist, Android will soon be on the many screens you use throughout the day.
Android Wear is a version of the Android operating system that’s designed for devices worn on the body. It aims to extend the Android platform to the next generation of devices and promises to be “your key to a multiscreen world.” These wearables are small, powerful and chock-full of features you won’t find anywhere else. They’re also pretty to look at.
Android Wear devices will allow you to get glanceable notifications throughout the day. This includes text messages, emails, social media updates and missed calls. You’ll be able to view this information on swipeable notification cards similar to Google Now. The best part is you’ll be able to do this without opening an app on your phone.
Similar notifications can be stacked together, making them easier to sort through. For example: instead of three notifications for each received email, you’ll get a stack that says “3 new messages.” To view the messages you can either tap on the stack to open the app or swipe it to view each message.
Perhaps the best feature of Android Wear is voice recognition. Not only will you be able to say “OK Google” to control your apps, you’ll also be able to reply to text messages and emails. These actions normally require a user to open an application, but with Android Wear you won’t even have to use your handheld device.
Google is also focusing on the fitness industry and will develop wearables with a wide range of sensors. This includes accelerometers that can provide real-time information while you run, cycle or walk. And because you’ll be on the move, Google Maps will provide directions directly from your wrist.
Google is working hard with several partners to build a powerful Android Wear ecosystem. The first batch of wearables will be provided by Motorola and LG – companies that have a lot of experience building Google devices. Also in the works are partnerships with ASUS, Intel, HTC, Samsung, Fossil and more. It seems like the future of Android Wear is in good hands.
More information on Google Wear will become available at Google I/O on June 25th and devices are expected to ship this summer.