Google launches smartwatch at annual developer conference
Google has pipped Apple to the post by becoming the first to release a smartwatch. Timepieces with touchscreens, made by Samsung (pictured) and LG using Google’s software for wearable devices, went on sale on Wednesday from the company’s online shop.
Controlled by voice commands, taps and swipes, and linked to apps loaded on a smartphone, the watches can tell wearers how many stops before their bus journey ends, how far away their taxi is or who is calling their phone during a meeting.
The news was announced at Google’s I/O developer conference in San Francisco. Apple is expected to release a smartwatch later this year, which will work alongside smartphones and tablets and is expected to focus on fitness and activity-tracking features.
Both Samsung’s Gear Live watch and LG’s G Watch will have square faces – those wanting a more classic round-faced design will have to wait until the release of the Motorola 360 later this year.
All the watches will run on Android Wear, the same software used for Google Glass, the computer-enabled spectacles released in the UK this week. The information they present is intended to be “glanceable”, and predictive, with apps serving up takeaway menus on the day the user normally orders pizza.
“We’re right at the beginning of a new phase in the miniaturisation of technology,” said David Singleton, Google’s director of engineering.