Internet giant Google has released a version of its Android operating system that has been designed for use with wearable devices, including gadgets that monitor a user’s health and fitness.
Branded Android Wear, the operating system will allow users to receive a host of services they have come to expect on smartphones and tablets, support voice-activated commands and provide access to a number of health and fitness services.
“Hit your exercise goals with reminder and fitness summaries from Android Wear,” said Sundar Pinchai, Google’s (Mountain View, CA, USA) head of Android, in a blog post.
“Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.”
Google has opened up a new section on its Android pages aimed at developers who are addressing the wearables sector.
Using a Developer Preview, developers can tailor existing app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear, says the internet player, claiming that “many apps will already work well” because of Android’s rich notification system.
Google also said it is working with several device makers – including Asus (Taipei, Taiwan), HTC (Taipei, Taiwan), Motorola (Libertyville, IL, USA) and Samsung (Seoul, South Korea) – on bringing consumers watches powered by Android Wear later this year.
It is also collaborating with chip makers Broadcom (Irvine, CA, USA), Imagination (Kings Langley, UK), Intel (Santa Clara, CA, USA), Mediatek (Hsinchu, Taiwan) and Qualcomm (San Diego, CA, USA), besides fashion brands like the Fossil Group.
According to a BBC report, one of Google’s first Android Wear devices will be Motorola’s Moto 360 smart watch, which is due to go on sale this summer.
Google has already been active in the wearables market through its much-discussed Google Glass product, a set of augmented spectacles providing a range of internet and communications services to users.