Android coming to wearables says Google

Saqib Shah
March 10, 2014

The most popular smartphone operating system is now coming to wearables.

Speaking at a conference at South by Southwest, Google executive Sundar Pichai stated that the company plans to release a software development kit (SDK) based on Android for makers of wearable devices, such as smartwatches,  in two weeks.

Although the company plans to release its own smartwatch, in conjunction with LG, Google’s SDK is intended for other developers to power their own wearable devices.

As with its mobile strategy, the spread of Android is Google’s primary concern here – with the wearable SDK allowing the services it offers packaged with Android to reach even further, via other manufacturers’ hardware.

According to the  WSJ, Pichai said Google is releasing its Android software developer kit for wearable devices well before actual devices hit the market so the company gets “plenty of feedback” first.

Therefore, it’s possible Google is hoping to garner feedback for continued development of its own smartwatch device, as part of the SDK initiative.

It’s not just smartwatches Google has its eye on here either. The  WSJ  reports  Pichai saying the company hopes its Android platform helps developers create many types of wearable devices – with Pichai apparently throwing out  a sensor-laden, Android-powered “smart jacket” scenario as one possibility.

Asked about the recent acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest Labs, Pichai said Google is thinking about creating a “mesh layer” of software to make its various devices work better together.

The release of Google’s smartwatch has been slated for either mid to late March, or pushed out to June (although the company has not confirmed its plans).

Source: WSJ, TechCrunch

About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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