Google announced on Tuesday that it's going to extend the Android operating system to watches, and we boldly predict that you're actually going to want to wear one.
Android Wear, Google's new wearable software platform, is making the information you usually get from your phone (weather, directions, texts) available right on your wrist. Below, everything you need to know about how the watches work and which of your favorite fashion houses might be making them soon.
How Will They Work?
Basically, the Android operating system will now work in a smaller, faster-moving interface. If you already have an Android, the watches can act as a second screen that alerts you to appointments, helps you find directions, and responds to messages.
"Watches are good at telling time, but imagine having useful, actionable information there precisely when you need it," said David Singleton, Android's director of engineering, in a video that introduced the concept to software developers. (Rest assured, the watches will tell time, too—there's even an option for a screen that looks like a real chronograph.)
What Will They Look Like?
The prototypes in Google's promotional videos are minimal black-and-white watches in either round or tank shapes. But we're guessing they won't stay that way for long. Google is working with the Fossil Group, which makes watches for Burberry, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, and Diesel, among other brands, and those partnerships will more than likely produce some stylish timepieces.
A few electronics manufacturers, like HTC and Samsung, are also in the mix. Motorola announced today that its first Android Wear watch, the Moto360 (seen above), will be available this summer.
In a blog post, Sundar Pinchai (Google's SVP for Android, Chrome, and apps) called watches "the most familiar wearable." That's probably why there are already a handful of so-called smart watches: Sony, Samsung, and Kickstarter success story Pebble already have models on the market. It's widely rumored that Apple is working on a smart watch, too, though a brand representative declined to comment on this story.
—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner.
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