Google has unveiled an operating system designed specifically for wearable devices called Android Wear, plus details of the first smartwatches to incorporate the technology.
Example of a watch using the Google Android interface
In a series of Youtube movies released today, Google previewed the Android Wear operating system that will extend apps currently available on Android devices to present contextual information designed to be viewed at-a-glance on wearable devices.
“With a wearable device you can be going about the rest of your day, just glance down at your wrist and the information you need is there right away without even having to ask for it,” said Android’s director of engineering David Singleton.
Using the existing Google Now service, the new user interface will prioritize information specific to the user’s context to allow a more passive experience, without the need to retrieve the information from multiple applications.
For example, in the morning it could show local weather reports, the time of the wearer’s first meeting and travel time to get there based on current traffic conditions.
“Watches are good at telling time, but imagine having useful actionable information there precisely when you need it, automatically,” said Singleton.
The launch movie also shows a user receiving an alert for jellyfish when about to go surfing, and immediately swiping to a screen showing other beaches in the area to head towards.
The system will also facilitate receiving and responding to text messages and calls, and listening to music. It could also incorporate health or activity-monitoring functions to rival devices like Nike FuelBand and Fitbit.
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