Since Google announced its release of the software development kit for Android-powered wearables last month, the shower of interest has turned into a veritable deluge. App developers across the globe are caught up in the storm. Why? The components used for wearable devices have gotten little and inexpensive and a large number of consumers have smartphones that are simpatico with a wearable device. Juniper Research predicts that more than 130 million smart wearable devices will ship by 2018.
Google is keeping the name of its newest line simple – Android Wear – but they’ve made sure to let everyone know that, while the premise is straightforward, the possibilities boggle. Initially the vanguard mobile device OS will be tailored for smartwatches and comparable trappings, but they will soon offer a closetful of trendy, fashionable body-fitting devices.
But whatever form the Android Wear device takes, there are certain requirements that it must meet, according to Google.
Alex Faaborg, Android designer, explains the Android Wear concept in a promotional video. “It needs to be incredibly fast, incredibly glanceable… there’s really only two components: the information that’s most relevant to you, and the ability to speak to it and do a quick command.” He goes on to say, “We designed an entirely new UI specifically for this form factor, and its really based around voice and contextual information.”
Google has lined up a number of hardware and chip partners to produce this upcoming fashion line – LG, Samsung Electronics Co., Motorola, Intel Corp., Fossil, Asus, HTC, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm Inc. It looks like LG will be the first partner to produce – its “G Watch” is poised to debut within the next few months. And the price is far from Gucci-like at only an estimated $300.
Google’s announcement “definitely gives wearables a status that it’s a market in it’s own right and it needs to be treated with the respect that a separate operating system branch gives it,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Kantar World Panel.
App developers agree. They are are well aware that there are no boundaries in the wearables space, but they also know he/she who hesitates is lost.
“A whole new app ecosystem is going to be born,” said Shawn Hardin, chief executive officer of Mind Pirate, which released “Global Food Fight,” its first game for Google Glass, earlier this year. “Those who are going to make that happen in a big way are going to be valuable companies because of it, and those who wait too late won’t be a part of it.”
And Google – – – look out for iWatch…