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Google Announces Android SDK For Wearable Technology

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Software development kit which lets Android developers create apps and services for devices such as Google Glass will be released in two weeks

Google has announced that it is releasing a software development kit (SDK) to allow developers to create apps running its Android operating system for wearable technology devices.

At the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, the company’s senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai, told an audience that an SDK will be available in a fortnight’s time.

“In two weeks we are launching the first developer SDK for Android,” Pichai said. “That will lay out the vision for developers in how we see this market working.”

wearable tech clothes glasses user interface © wearable tech clothes glasses user interface © Syda Productions Shutterstock ShutterstockGrowing interest

There has been growing speculation that Google is planning to launch a smartwatch as it looks to enter what has become a fast-growing market, with the release of an SDK a major indication that such a device may arrive soon.

Several manufacturers that currently use Android in their smartphones have also announced plans to release wearable technology devices in the near future. This includes HTC, which demonstrated several wearable products in secret at the recent Mobile World Congress, and has pinpointed the sector as vital to restoring the company’s flagging fortunes.

Motorola, which was recently sold by Google to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo, has also said it plans to have a collection of wearable technology products on sale by the end of the year.

“It’s our intention to deliver some interesting wearable products this year,” said Motorola’s senior vice president Rick Osterloh, although he said that the devices were still very much in the development stage and was unable to provide any details on release dates or price.

One issue that the announcement may raise is the fear that technology such as Google Glass may be used for nefarious or illegal purposes. Pichai looked to address these fears recently at Mobile World Congress, stating in an interview that he believed it was the open nature of the Android software which made it safe to use.

“Android was built to be very, very secure,” he said. “I would argue that it’s the best way for a platform to be secure, because every researcher in the world can inspect it, every developer in the world can inspect it, and I think that contributes a lot to Android security”.

The company’s Glass technology, which offers users a head-up display view of various apps and services, has garnered major press interest during its trial phase, but has attracted controversy regarding the reaction from some law enforcement agencies and members of the public. The company recently released a set of recommendations for Glass users, which describe how one should behave while wearing the device following feedback from beta testers, warning them not to be ‘glassholes’.

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