Google extends the reach of Android literally, letís check the time
Wearable tech has been a buzzword in mobile circles for a couple of years now, but while we've seen efforts from Sony, Samsung and Kickstarter success Pebble, it's all been a bit haphazard. Naturally, some have looked towards Apple to stoke the fires and release the long-rumoured iWatch, but it's Google that has made what looks like the first concentrated step to bring wearable smart devices to the fore.

As we've said, smartwatches are not a new thing, the original Sony Smartwatch being a few years old now. However, these devices have long suffered from lack of function and battery life, and reception for both Sony's and Samsung's efforts have been lukewarm at best. Android Wear aims to change this by Google taking the same approach as with its regular Android OS, making it open for all to use.

Name:  google waerable.jpg
Views: 116
Size:  25.2 KB


Android Wear itself is relatively simple, an SDK added to the Android SDK to allow programmers to interact with an external smart device. This doesn't actually have to be a watch, but it's here that the first demonstration of what can be achieved with Wear is displayed.
In the demonstration video, we see a device that's essentially an extension of Google Now, the all-knowing personal assistant in Android from 4.1. On the device there's the weather, updates to events, messaging and mapping.

They've even managed to remember to add the time in too. It all works with an attractive capacitive touch-screen and a series of swipes or yes/no presses. In fact, swiping and answering simple questions is pretty much all you'll do with it, as the other interactions, such as replying to messages, is done with the voice. Thankfully, then, Google's voice recognition is pretty good, at least for those with neutral English speaking accents.

Hopefully, we won't need to resort to faking an American accent to get it to work. We'll also seethe devices become fitness assistants, much like the Nike+ of the present For the many for whom fitness is a concern, these Wear watches will be able to offer far more information on the go than any watch before. That's before interactive sensors are added in something else that the Wear SDK will look to embrace in the future.
There's also the simple side of things, such as controlling the media on your phone without having to take it from your pocket or scramble for it in your car. Hopefully, Wear will also see the mainstream embrace NFC, including for contactless payments. Instead of having to get your phone out to tap the payment, the NFC equipped watch will not only be able to do it for you, but it will also give you an update as to your balance afterwards.

This same idea may extend to ticketing, such as Transport for London's Oyster card or even theatres and cinemas. Google states it has designed Wear with not only other manufacturers but also with fashion houses, as it is indeed easy to forget in the tech world that in the case of watches, often their biggest selling point is style. To this end, there have been watches announced from both LG and Motorola that are as stylish off as they are on, the Motorola 360 especially.

It's taken a long time, and needed a few advances in technology such as low-power Bluetooth, small displays with a high PPL and chips powerful enough to run the software but tiny enough to wear, but it looks like wearable technology is here. It seems almost certain Apple will also throw its hat in the ring, maybe even Microsoft, so while in 2014 wearable technology will be finding its feet, expect it to be everywhere this time in 2015.