Google wants to help developers create wearable devices running Android. At a SXSW conference on Sunday, Google’s SVP of Android and Chrome Sundar Pichai said the search giant has plans to detail a developer SDK in a few weeks that will make it simple for wearables to “talk” to other Android devices. Pichai explained that Google’s focus is “at the platform level,” which would allow for a wearable’s sensors to communicate with the Android OS. It’s unclear if Google is working on its own wearable device (outside of Google Glass), such as a smartwatch or even activity tracker. Last we heard, LG was appointed by the search giant to create a Google smartwatch.
Google’s vision for the wearable market is figuring out how a device’s sensors can convey data to Android, and how that data can then be interpreted. Via The Verge, Pichai talked about the parallel between the evolution of the smartphone ecosystem and the wearables ecosystem, saying wearables are becoming “nexuses of an array of sensors.” Instead of a manufacturers opting to create its own custom OS, Google wants to “lay out a vision for developers as to how [we] see this market working.”
With Google committed to helping developers bring more Android wearables to market, it would stand to reason we’ll see a few new smartwatches this year. What kind of functionality they’ll have is another matter, but hopefully Google’s upcoming developer SDK will shed light on what to expect. According to our report from last month, LG’s smartwatch is expected to have always-on access to Google Now, which essentially means you’ll be able to speak commands at any time and easily get information. That already sounds more appealing than simply being fed notifications. Now it’s just a matter of how the thing looks.