Google is bringing its Android operating system to smartwatches, opening the doors for a flood of high-tech wearable devices for consumers, experts said.
Google said yesterday it will release Android Wear — a version of its popular software tailored for wearable devices — to hardware manufacturers. Google’s vision of a smartwatch differs slightly from others that have hit the market, with an emphasis on its predictive assistant Google Now.
“I think it is really interesting and likely that this development will bear a lot of fruit,” said Roger Kay, a technology analyst and founder of Endpoint Technologies.
Google is partnering with LG and Motorola — both of which announced Android-powered smartwatches yesterday — and other companies including watchmaker Fossil.
More wearable technology, including a long-rumored iWatch, is inevitable, said Ryan Martin, a analyst with Yankee Group.
“I think we’re going to see a flood of new entrants,” Martin said. “It’s pretty clear that wearables are shaping up to be in the running for ‘next big thing.’”
Companies so far have released a wide range of wearable devices, everything from Pebble, focused on showing notifications from a paired phone, to Samsung’s Gear Fit, a dedicated fitness tracker.
Quanttus, a Cambridge-based startup, is developing a device focused on health care.
“The wearable space is, even to the most casual observer, taking off,” said Steve Jungmann, vice president for product management at Quanttus. “It is a growing market. There will not be a one size fits all.”