Google Goes After the Smartwatch Market

Google shows off the first smartwatches with its new Android Wear operating system

Google shows off the first smartwatches with its new Android Wear operating system

Mountain View, CA—Move over Google Glass, you soon will be getting a Dick Tracy-style competitor, Android Wear, the new operating system for wearable tech devices.

In a nod to rumors that have circulated for about a year, Google revealed today that its Android Wear will premiere this year, first in smartwatches. Both LG Electronics and Motorola said they will begin selling smart watches. Besides tech companies jumping on Google’s Android Wear bandwagon, Fossil Group is reportedly also planning to introduce the new mobile operating system in watches.

Dick Tracy Enabled?

Although Samsung and Sony have been producing Android-based smartwatches, Google’s entrance puts a major force in place that could improve on those devices and offer a platform for future expansion, CNET reports.

The Android Wear will offer voice-recognition technology, Google’s latest “intelligent personal assistant softwear” that can make recommendations, answer questions and predict what the wear might want. Presumably, too, the Android Wear could offer Google Maps, allow wearers to dictate texts and offer sensors to track fitness activity like many workout bracelets, too.

No doubt Google’s announcement puts even more pressure on Apple, which apparently has been working on its own smartwatch for about a year. While Apple CEO Tim Cook has said the company is looking to enter new product categories this year, the company declined to comment on the smartwatch market.

How feasible (or successful) this new generation of smartwatches become may well fall upon application developers who will be responsible for creating useful apps that will make smartwatches the next hot tech item. Not to mention, creating smartwatch designs that are actually wearable and attractive, something woefully lacking in most cases so far.

 

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Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com

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