Meet Android Wear, the Google smartwatch

Not sold on Google Glass? Perhaps Android Wear is the wearable tech you've been looking for.

At the moment it's just a slickly produced video showing some concepts, but Google's Android Wear smartwatch might be just what people have been waiting for.

As predicted, Google's smartwatch solution revolves around voice search and Google Now. While "OK, Google" might still be the catchphrase de jour, at least you're not going to be called a "Glasshole" if you walk into a restaurant wearing it.

According to Google's announcement regarding Wear, the main concept is rather simple: "useful information when you need it most".

Android Wear shows you info and suggestions you need, right when you need them. The wide variety of Android applications means you’ll receive the latest posts and updates from your favourite social apps, chats from your preferred messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, and more.

Voice activated search, fitness tracking, location based data, app integration and even remote control functions — asking Android Wear to open your garage door — are all showcased in the video.

Google also highlights one of the true drawcards for Android Wear: because it works with Android notification system, many Android apps will already be able to function with Wear. The company says it's already working with a number of manufacturers and designers including "Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group".

Google says Android Wear devices should arrive later this year. There's a good chance that LG may be first to market, but apparently Motorola also have something in the works, possibly arriving in the middle of the year.

Analysts are tipping wearables to be seriously big business over the next few years. (Then again, that's what analysts do.) With Android Wear, Google may well have found the wearable device that has a real chance of going properly mainstream.

 

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