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March 18, 2014

Google announces wearable operating system ‘Android Wear’

LG's forthcoming G smartwatch will run on the operating system.

By Ben Sullivan

Google officially unveiled its launch into smartwatches today with Android Wear, an operating system based on Android that is specifically designed for wearable devices.

Google has released videos to showcase what the software looks like, and its senior VP of Android, Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai, used a blogpost to reveal that the smartwatch OS would be operated via verbal commands from the user.

He wrote: "Most of us are rarely without our smartphones in hand. These powerful supercomputers keep us connected to the world and the people we love. But we’re only at the beginning; we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with mobile technology.

"That’s why we’re so excited about wearables – they understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word."

Fitness appears to play a major role in the functionality of the operating system, presumable to keep up the pace with Apple and Samsung’s latest offerings, namely iOS fitness apps and Samsung’s Gear watches.

Alongside the announcement, Google has also unveiled the Android Wear SDK (software developing kit) which will enable developers to create and test apps for the operating system.

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"The Android Wear Developer Preview lets you create wearable experiences for your existing Android apps and see how they will appear on square and round Android wearables," said the promotional website.

Alongside these announcement, Engadget has reported that LG will be launching the G Watch, which will run on Android Wear. No specs or other details have been released yet about the new wearable from the long-time Google collaborator, but Jong-seok Park, CEO of LG’s mobile communications division, said: "The opportunity to work with Google on LG G Watch was the perfect chance for LG to really pull out all stops in both design and engineering.

"We’re confident that a well-designed device has the potential to take the smart wearable market by storm."

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