20 Mar Google Gets Serious About Wearables With Android Wear
Yesterday, Google announced the launch of an operating system for smartwatch devices called Android Wear.
Android Wear somehow managed to avoid early media detection so this announcement has come as a welcome surprise to Android fanatics around the world.
This new OS draws heavily on the ‘Google Now’ model, presenting you with the information you want when you need it.
For example, Google Maps will automatically know to start directing you to a certain location at a certain time based on other information it can access like text messages and emails. Which is kind of amazing even if it is a little bit creepy.
If you want to find out more about ‘Google Now’ and exactly how it works then we recommend checking out this article.
In line with ‘Google Now,’ the Android Wear smartwatch is designed to be controlled by ‘OK Google,’ Google’s voice recognition software. Simply say ‘OK Google’ and you’ll then be able to ask your device to show you nearby restaurants or to send a text message to a friend.
‘OK Google’ on Android Wear also takes the idea of second screening to another level. If you have linked devices to your watch, your smartwatch will allow you to access those other devices without contact.
That means you’ll be able to start playing music on your phone simply by ask your watch to do so.
This truly hands free method of interacting with your smartphone has already begun, with Google announcing an update to its Google Search app that will allow users to use voice commands to open apps. As stated on its Google+ page yesterday, “now with the Google Search App on Android, you can just tap the microphone or say “OK Google”, then “take a photo” or “take a video.” This functionality extends to typing and sending an email without typing and opening other apps like Twitter.
Google seems to be taking full advantage of this by making health and fitness a big part of Android Wear. A device with Android Wear “can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.”
And before the fashion conscience start to worry that these watches will be less than aesthetically pleasing, be aware that selected fashion brands such as Fossil plan to start making Android Wear watches.
Reportedly, LG and Motorola will be the first companies to release smartwatches to the public. LG announced that its very tech looking watch, the G Watch, will be available within the next quarter, while Motorola’s very classic and premium looking Moto 360 should be out mid-year.
Google has posted a really cool demonstration video of the potential use cases for a smartwatch using Android Wear. Check out the demo video below!