Google’s Android Wear May Bring Wearable Market to Life (Update)
Where others have failed, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) hopes to show its competitors that it should have been relying more on the search giant. Wearable tech hasn’t really taken off even though it is the next big thing — in theory. All the devices out there still stand in the realm of niche, but a recent project from Google could expand things quite a bit. In a recent blog post, Google announced Android Wear, the modified version of Android designed specifically for wearable devices and demonstrated on smartwatches. The platform is intended to keep users informed through notifications and by answering direct questions. Using the Google Now system, it will try to give users whatever information it thinks is relevant, such as traffic information when heading somewhere or flight details while at the airport. On top of that, Google plans to have Google Wear devices function as a centerpiece for a number of other devices, allowing commands given to the device to be relayed to other devices, such as TVs or smartphones. See it in action below.
There have been several delves into smartwatches before. Samsung (SSNLF.PK) produced the Galaxy Gear, which ran on a modified version of Android, but wasn’t widely received due to its reliance on a smartphone and its incompatibility with non-Samsung devices. Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) SmartWatch was marred by the same dependence on a smartphone and didn’t succeed, despite being one of the earlier smartwatches on the market. The startup Pebble has enjoyed some success, being the name that pretty much brought the smartwatch to the tech world’s attention, but it never grew to have mass appeal. With Google’s size and presence through Android, Android Gear might be able to make a name for itself where others were unable. If Google’s name alone wasn’t enough to push Android Gear into the limelight, then it probably helps that the search giant has the help of a number of other top name companies in hardware. CNET reported that LG, ASUS (ASUUY.PK), HTC, Motorola, and Samsung had all become partners and would implement Android Wear on devices. On the internals side, Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), Imagination (IGNMF.PK), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Mediatek, and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) would be working as chip partners.
According to CNET, LG will be the first of the bunch to come out with an Android Wear-powered device. The device should appear at Google’s I/O developer conference. The other manufacturers aren’t likely to be far behind. With the predicted market for wearable technology – estimated to be worth $19 billion by 2018 according to Juniper Research, CNET reports — all of the companies on the bandwagon stand to make a pretty penny. Google’s Motorola is also set to come out with its smartwatch, the Moto 360, this summer. Check it out on the right.
The story here should resound with any who paid attention to the rise of Android. The involvement of so many hardware manufacturers and the popularity of Google and Android mix to create something almost ensured to enjoy modest — if not grand — success. With the I/O developed conference scheduled for the end of June, there is still a short wait left before we start seeing just what Android Wear can do. One big question remains: what is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) doing and where is that long rumored iWatch?
More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet:
- Former Apple Employee: ‘iWatch Is Coming’
- SXSW 2014 Presents: Next-Level Wearable Tech
- Intel Snaps Up Wearables Startup for More Than $100M
- Google Is Making Apps for Wearables Easier to Build
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