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Google announces Android Wear platform for smart watches

androidwearGoogle started with trying to get a computer on your face, but now they’re also aiming for you wrist. On Tuesday, Google announced Android Wear, which extends the familiar Android platform to “wearable” devices. Their first initiative focuses on smart watches, with other wearables to come later.

Google released a promotional movie demonstrating to the potential uses for a smart watch, which you can view here 

Android Wear’s software design is based on controlling your device through voice commands and contextual information from your surroundings. Devices will be able to display information from a variety of Android applications, such as notifications from social apps, messaging apps, shopping, news and photography.

Similar to Google Glass, you’ll be able to control Android Wear devices by simply uttering the phrase “OK Google,” accompanied by simple commands. You’ll be able to ask questions and receive answers and information relating to items such as measurement conversion, personal schedules, phone calls, texts and alarms.

You will also be able to use Android Wear devices as a fitness monitor to set exercise goals and provide fitness summaries. It will also work with other Android fitness apps to keep track of real-time speed, distance and time information while running, cycling or walking.

Android Wear smart watches will pair with your phone and other Android devices, allowing you to control them directly from your wrist.

To go with the announcement of Android Wear, Google also released a developer preview so that developers can modify their existing apps to create experiences tailored specifically for Android Wear. Many existing apps already work with Android Wear.

Google is partnering with several companies: manufacturers like Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chipmakers like Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and even fashion brands like the Fossil Group.

Google expects watches running Android Wear to be out later this year.

Two Android Wear devices have already been announced following Google’s initial announcement of the platform. LG has announced their “G Watch,” and Motorola unveiled their “Moto 360,” which sports a unique circular display.

Smart watches aren’t exactly a new idea, but having a software giant like Google backing this type of device may force a few hands into the bands of a crazy computer watch. There’s a lot of potential for innovative ideas when it comes to wearable devices. If anything, these devices will at least act as a minor convenience for those too lazy to reach into their pocket and pull out a phone.

By Alfredo Dizon, eParisExtra

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