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June 25, 2014

Google I/O to showcase wearable devices

Could also be set to make in-roads with connected cars.

By Ben Sullivan

Google will focus on devices and wearables at this year’s annual developer conference which starts tomorrow in San Francisco.

The web giant is also set to Android updates, perhaps even Android 5.0 Lollipop, the next incarnation of its Android operating system, at its Google I/O conference where 6,000 developers are expected to attend.

Google will be aiming to compete with firms such as Apple and Samsung in the race for Internet-connected devices. The company plans to announce a set-top box tomorrow, one that could focus on gaming, alongside Android Wear smartwatches from partners Motorola, Samsung, and LG.

Android Wear is Google’s own smartwatch operating system, and looks to beat Apple to the punch with the iWatch.

Google is also predicted to announce further plans for a push into the smart connected car market, integrating the Android operating system for drivers and passengers allowing for easier navigation and entertainment. Google has collaborated with major automakers including Audi, Hyundai and Honda, in addition to NVIDIA, to integrate its Android powered infotainment systems into their vehicle line-up.

Aimed at accelerating auto innovation by offering openness, customisation and scale, the new Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) would work to bring the Android platform to cars from this year.

Updates to Google’s line of Nexus tablets are also expected, with perhaps an announcement of the Nexus 9 ‘Volantis’ or even a Nexus 10 10-inch tablet upgrade. The Nexus 9 rumoured specs include a powerful NVIDIA Tegra K1 64-bit CPU with 2GB Ram. The device will be just 7.9mm thick and weigh 418 grams. Google also has to keep up with the new iPad Air which has a 9.7-inch screen size if it wants stay competitive in the tablet market.

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Project Tango, the 7-inch tablet with numerous cameras and depth sensors, will also be on show.

New apps and APIs for Google Glass should also surface at this year’s I/O. It was only yesterday that Google Glass was released in the UK, two years after its skydiving debut at Google I/O in 2012.

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