Android Wear Brings Wearable Computers to the Mainstream This Year

( [email protected] ) Apr 04, 2014 11:15 AM EDT
Photo: Android Wear Developer Preview)

While rumors about Android 4.5 are still mostly shots in the dark at this point, the most recent buzz seems to center around the Android Wear platform and what it can do for a wearable tech revolution.

Android Wear is Google's Android operating system designed specifically for smartwatches and wearables. It was announced on March 18th in conjunction with several manufacturing partners including Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Asus, and more.

But Motorola has stepped up as the first to implement Android Wear in it's upcoming Moto 360 smartwatch. The Moto 360 will be available some time this summer in a variety of colors, but a price and detailed specs have yet to be announced.

LG has also announced an entry into the Android Wear market with the G Watch. This smartwatch will mark LG's fourth device developed for Google following the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and the LG G Pad 8.3. It is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2014, but no price has been announced yet.

Regarding the Android OS itself, Android 4.5 is said to have Android Wear compatibility integrated, but there seems to be quite a contrast of opinions on when that will come out.

Android's latest Kitkat update (4.4.3) is said to be rolling out to Nexus devices this week, causing some to think that an update numbered 4.5 wouldn't be necessary so soon. In that case, Google may opt to go straight for 5.0 and the anticipated L-word name, but can those features wait much longer? Experts speculate that whatever number Google uses for the big update, it will launch in conjunction with the Moto 360 to better spotlight Android Wear.

It's interesting to see this new smartwatch trend take hold as our phones are becoming less of a phone and more of a mobile computer. Is the popular wristwatch fashion accessory from over 100 years ago making a comeback to solve the hands-free problems we often have with operating our devices while driving? Was the return of the wristwatch just waiting for the innovations found in Google Now and advanced voice command?

Would Dick Tracy be proud? We'd like to think so.