Science and Tech


Google To Release Developer Kit For Wearables In Two Weeks

Google will release a wearables SDK in two weeks, allowing third-party developers to create apps for the new tech.
Posted at 2:43 PM, Mar 10, 2014

Well, that was quick. One weekend into SXSW, and we’re already talking wearables.

Google’s SVP for Android and Chrome (SOON-dar) (Pih-Chai) said the company plans to release a software development kit for wearables in the next two weeks. (Via AllThingsD)

Basically, the SDK will allow third-party developers to create apps for wearables, which begs the question –

Which wearables are we talking? Google Glass? Well, CNET reports, The new operating system is said to be based on the Google Now voice assistant and search feature, which also drives the core functions of its Google Glass headwear.”

Or could it be for the rumored LG-produced, Google-powered smartwatch? Forbes says Pichai didn’t mention it. (Via Engadget, Forbes)

Rather than link it to one device specifically, The Verge reports Pichai said Google is thinking about wearables on a “platform level,” meaning the upcoming OS will allow preexisting wearables to talk to Android.

“Focusing on the ‘platform’ is a clever way for Pichai to position Android as a real player in wearables without committing Google to building them itself.”

It could also be a way for Google to future-proof itself. Right now, we’re talking watches and glasses.

But Pichai said in his SXSW discussion, “I think we’re just scratching the surface.” So theoretically, Google’s SDK could link with sensors in to-be-determined wearables. (Via The Guardian)

He reportedly said something about a jacket with sensors, but we’re not so sure about how that'd turn out…

He did talk about more than wearables though. For example, he discussed cars, but not the driverless ones we usually associate with the company. (Via Google)

Instead, Re/code says he talked about the possibility of Android in cars.“Pichai said he hoped that instead of cars being hardwired with a particular operating system, the technology would work similarly to Google’s Chromecast for TVs.”

So a plug-and-drive OS. Clever. And a fitting time to mention it as Apple just announced CarPlay, which is a hardwired system. (Via Google, Apple)

The wearable SDK will launch without any kind of special event, but be on the lookout for wearable, Google-branded hardware at its Google I/O conference in June.