Google Launches New Android Wear Products at I/O 2014 Developers Conference

Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, speaks during his keynote address at the Google I/O developers conference (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters)
Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, speaks during his keynote address at the Google I/O developers conference (PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters)

Google could soon be in your home, your car and even on your wrist, after the technology giant announced a host of new Android products in its “biggest ever overhaul”.

At Google’s largest event of the year – the I/O 2014 developers conference in San Francisco – the company moved further into wearables, following the launch of Google Glass earlier this year.

Pipping rival Apple to the post to by becoming the first of the two to bet big on smartwatches, Google showed off LG’s G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, and Moto 360 models, which are all running its software.

The voice-activated devices from LG and Samsung, which both have square faces, will be available for order in the Google Play Store today, while Motorola’s classic round-faced watch will launch later in the summer.

Some models of the Android Wear products, which use the same software platform as the Google Glass, will include heart-rate monitors and pedometers. The software will allow users to activate a do-no-disturb setting by swiping down on the display. Users also can issue voice commands to find out things such as how many stops before their bus journey ends.

They will also be able to use music controls on the smartwatches to activate the music app on their Android phones.

David Singleton, Goggle’s engineering director, demonstrated the simplicity of the smartwatch to the conference, ordering and paying for a pizza using an app in under 20 seconds.

The watch, the most significant wearable device yet introduced by the search giant, comes months before rival Apple is expected to launch its own version iWatch later in the year.

Analysts predict that around 19 million smartwatches will be sold worldwide by the end of the year.

Google and other companies have been looking to wearables as a new market of opportunity as smartphone and tablet growth slows.

The other big announcement was of Android Drive, which is designed to automate common functions in cars.

Andrew Brenner, head of Google automotive, said the software will enhance navigation, communication, will be contextually aware, and be voice controlled. Google says 40 automakers have signed up and the software will be rolled out later this year.

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SOURCE: Telegraph UK
Josie Ensor

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