Google is ready to release a version of Android aimed specifically at wearable devices, it has announced.
Speaking at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas over the weekend, Google’s Sunday Pichai announced that the company is all set to launch a software development kit (SDK) for manufacturers of smartwatches and other wearable devices.
Naturally, Google will be making its own smartwatch, which is said to be a partnership with South Korean manufacturer LG. But as with its Nexus range of smartphones and tablets, this device will be a kind of reference design for other smartwatch manufacturers to riff off.
Pichai did note, however, that the smartwatch was only one example of wearable devices that could make use of the forthcoming SDK. Of course, Google already makes a different kind of wearable smart device in the shape of Google Glass, but Pichai mentioned his vision of a jacket containing multiple sensors as another possibility.
As with the stock Android SDK, this smartwatch SDK will be made free to manufacturers. It should launch in two weeks time.
Many smartwatch efforts up to this point, including the ill-received Samsung Galaxy Gear, have used heavily modified versions of the regular Android OS, which hasn’t been optimised for smaller form factors.
It may be one reason Samsung turned to its own Tizen OS for its recent smartwatch follow-up, the Samsung Gear 2, which was announced towards the end of last month.