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Google targets wearables with Android Wear

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 21 March 2014

Google has officially announced Android Wear, a project that extends the popular Android operating system to wearables. Google also confirmed that it was already working with hardware vendors including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; plus fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring consumers smart watches powered by Android Wear later this year.

The Android Wear announcement was made in a post by Sundar Pichai, senior VP, Android, Chrome and apps at Google on the company’s official blog. Pichai wrote: “Most of us are rarely without our smartphones in hand. These powerful supercomputers keep us connected to the world and the people we love. But we’re only at the beginning; we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with mobile technology.”

“That’s why we’re so excited about wearables—they understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word,” Pichai continued. “Today we’re announcing Android Wear. And we’re starting with the most familiar wearable—watches.”

Android Wear will show users a range of information on smart watches using the wide variety of Android applications available. Devices using Android Wear will also provide answers to spoken questions.

Pichai wrote: “Just say ‘Ok Google’ to ask questions, like how many calories are in an avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the game. Or say ‘Ok Google’ to get stuff done, like calling a taxi, sending a text, making a restaurant reservation or setting an alarm.”

Android Wear will also provide users with the ability to monitor their health and fitness as well as accessing and controlling other devices from their wrists.

“Just say ‘Ok Google’ to fire up a music playlist on your phone, or cast your favourite movie to your TV. There are a lot of possibilities here so we’re eager to see what developers build,” explained Pichai.

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