“I don’t carry my phone anymore, this is my phone,” said popular musician Will.i.am of his smartwatch. The latest trend with smartwatches is that more and more of them are becoming enabled with phone capabilities to possibly prevent having to carry a phone around at all. Additionally, more smatwatches are becoming so independent of smartphones that they are running their own OS. Naturally, companies like Google are not letting this moment pass them by. Google announced Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables.
Seeing as smartwatches are computerised wrist watches, it only makes sense for Google to start running OS on a watch. The tagline for Android Wear is that it provides you with “information that moves with you.” The first concept for Android Wear, which Google displays in a concept video, has a lot in common with what we’ve seen from both Google Now and Google Glass.
According to Mashable, the idea behind Android Wear is to bring contextual information to the user when it’s most needed. That can mean getting the latest updates from a social app, pumping in instant messages and photos, and showing the fastest route to get to your next appointment.
Google also announced that it is working with consumer electronic brands such as Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung on Android Wear devices, as well as with chip makers such as Broadcom, Qualcomm and Intel — as well as fashion brands like the Fossil Group.
A piece of advice from Android Engineer, Sagar Seth, is to hinge on simplicity. “While developing for Android Wear, you have to keep one thing in mind — the goal is simplicity,” says Seth. “So no overcrowded UI.”
Apparently smartwatches understand the context of the world around us, and we can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word.
In other news, Will.i.am plans on releasing a smartwatch. During a show on Chatty Man, Will.i.am said that his smartwatch is basically a phone. “It has all my music in it so I can work out with it, without wires using Bluetooth headphones. It’s got Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook,” he stated. The musician didn’t reveal what operating system his device runs on or any of the specs but it is suspected that his device will likely be running Android.