While many of us want a true Android smartwatch, perhaps that’s reaching a bit too far. A new report suggests Google is going to release their own wearable OS this Spring, likely at I/O. Like Android, the new OS will be open source, and available for all OEMs to use.
Techno Buffalo is noting the OS will likely be based on Android, but could be a diluted version for a smaller device. Many believe it to have a very heavy Google Now-esque skin, which could point to a new day for the platform. Google Now, in its current state, is little more than a notification system.
Smartwatches, in their current state, a little more than notification devices. If Google is really introducing an open source wearable platform based on Google Now, developers may get the API for Now they’ve longed for since inception. It seems like a perfect balance of utility and function, too. Google Now is pretty light, asking little more than information gathering and a decent HTML5 interface. That’s not hard to do, and could grow the platform exponentially — and quick.
Rumors continue to swirl about who will make what amounts to reference hardware for the device. Some point to LG — a Google Nexus favorite the past two years — as the OEM for the first Google smartwatch. Others say HTC is building it, which could give them a much needed shot in the arm. Whoever does end up building the hardware for the first smart watch form Google, it will likely have a lot of oversight from Mountain View, making the OEM almost a moot point.
As Google I/O falls a bit later in the year than we’re used to, we’ll wait patiently for more news on this front. Right now, it’s speculative, but very interesting. We like a different OS for smartwatches, as it would prevent the Neptune Pines of the world, which just try to cram far too much into a wearable.