Google helped put wearables on the map with Google Glass and now it’s aiming to solidify its position in that market. In around two weeks’ time, the tech giant will be releasing an Android-based software development kit (SDK) that will specifically target wearable devices.
The promise came from Google SVP Sundar Pichai speaking at SxSW in Texas. According to Pichai, the wearable SDK will help developers tie up different sensors that can be found in wearable devices, easing how the developers will get access to sensor data and mash them up together. Aside from that, the SDK remains shrouded in mystery.
Pichai, however, did not comment on rumors of a Google smartwatch. And while the upcoming SDK might be taken by some as sure signs of the device, the SDK isn’t meant to be tied particularly to a smartwatch. The exec says that when Google says wearables, the company thinks of a broader range of possible applications.
The hottest types of wearable devices of late include smart glasses and smartwatches, but there is definitely room for more. Pichai makes mention of a jacket with sensors and we have indeed seen variants of that theme, from smart trench coats to shirts with heart rate monitors. We’ve also seen concepts for smart jewelry, glucose sensing contact lenses, and even baby onesies. The bottom line is that Google is leaving the doors open for partners and developers to run wild.
It isn’t clear yet what exact form the SDK will take, though it will be based on Android. This is similar to the Glass Development Kit (GDK), which is still available only to a relative few. A Google spokeswoman later commented that the company won’t be holding a big event to mark the release of the SDK, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for the announcement.