Google joins wearable device game with Android Wear

As expected, Google has launched an effort to expand the Android operating system from smartphones and tablets to wearable devices.

android_artGoogle announced in a blog post today the creation of Android Wear. Google will initially focus on smartwatches that will tell the wearer not only the time, but deliver the latest social media posts and updates, messaging, news and photos and more. Android Wear devices will be able to respond to voice commands, and monitor health and fitness. Over time, Android Wear will extend to a variety of body-fitting devices.

Google also released a software development kit preview for its wearable technology, enabling developers to tailor their existing apps for watches powered by Android Wear.

Google says it is working with companies including electronics manaufacturers Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung, chip makers like Broadcom, Intel and Qualcomm, and fashion brands like Fossil to develop smartwatches. The devices are expected to be launched later this year.

It’s a huge step for the company to position itself in a still growing market, and it poses unique opportunities for providing content specifically created for the wearable technology user.

The potential for content tailored for smartwatches and other like devices is limited at this point, and creating it for devices even smaller than smartphones looms as a challenge.

But it is something for content managers to think about. With the estimated market value of wearables projected to reach $10 billion by 2015, as the technology becomes more mainstream, more opportunities for content creation suited for wearables will not be far behind.