Android Wear is Google's Operating System for Smartwatches

By Gerald Lynch on at

Google has just lifted the lid on Android Wear, a modified version of its mobile OS designed specifically for smartwatches and other wearable tech products.

The Google Now location and situation-aware notifications system seems to have heavily influenced Android Wear, with the teaser video above showing smartwatches relaying data to users that includes everything from travel directions and text messages to local jellyfish warnings for surfers. The video also suggests that devices using Android Wear will accept voice input -- which makes far more sense than trying to tap out messages or commands onto a tiny wrist-worn screen. Users will be able to conduct web searches using voice too through Android Wear, while Google is also talking up the platform in terms of its fitness and health monitoring capabilities.

Backed by LG, Asus, Samsung, Motorola and HTC (as well as chip partners Qualcomm, Broadcom, Intel, Imagination and Mediatek), LG will be the first company to release a smartwatch using Android Wear, called the LG G Watch. Though the company has offered scant few details on the G Watch, it did send the following image through accompanying confirmation of the news:

A developer preview for Android Wear is available immediately, but Google is staying tight-lipped over whether or not it has plans for its own smartwatch, which so far at least certainly seems the product category that Android Wear is focussed on. [Google]