In two weeks Google will release an Android software development kit specific to wearable computing devices.
In two weeks, Google (GOOG) will release an Android software development kit (SDK) specific to wearables, in a move to pave the way for OEM device makers to build smartwatches and myriad other wearable computing devices based on the mobile OS platform.
According to reports, Google Android and Chrome senior vice president Sundar Pichai told attendees at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference Sunday that “in about two weeks, you will see us launch the first SDK for what we think of as Android for wearables.”
With Google prepping its own LG-manufactured smartwatch to debut in June, the search giant now has turned its sights on establishing Android as the go-to platform for wearables.
Will Google offer Android free of charge to wearables OEMs as it has for smartphone and tablet makers building on the platform?
Pichai said releasing Google’s Android SDK for wearables this early will provide “plenty of feedback,” as reported by The Guardian. The SDK also is likely to provide Google with a better assessment of who’s interested in building wearables on Android and to accurately gauge the market’s potential value.
“When we think of wearables, we think of it as a platform,” Pichai said. He suggested Google views the wearables market well beyond smartwatches and fitness devices. “I think we’re just scratching the surface,” he said.
As became evident with Google’s recent $3.2 billion acquisition of connected home device maker Nest, the vendor also is doing some early planning for the oncoming Internet of Everything (IoE). For example, one day in the future Google’s software might power a sensor-equipped smart jacket, Pichai said. That might push higher up the priority ladder the “mesh layer” of software Google is considering building to enable its devices to work better together.
“We see a world of sensors. ... Sensors can be small and powerful, and gather a lot of information that can be useful for users. We want to build the right APIs for this world of sensors,” he said.
On another note, Pichai said Google has no plans to merge Android and the Chrome OS. “We view them as building blocks,” he said. “By investing in both, we believe that over time we will be able to meet almost all use cases.”