Google connects Android dots between wearables, cars and homes

Google connects Android dots between wearables, cars and homes

Summary: With more than a billion people actively using Android devices, Google is connecting the dots from smartwatches to the dashboard.


SAN FRANCISCO---It might not be as flashy or in your face (literally) as Google Glass, but the Internet giant has revealed the next stops for its wearable technology roadmap, which eventually leads into the garage and then the home.

Wearing what appeared to be an LG G Watch, Android engineering director David Singleton posited during the opening Google I/O keynote the demand for wearables (such as smartwatches) is already at a fever pitch.

He cited that people reach for their "Android phones" at least 125 times per day, describing such repetition as "tedious."

Enter Android Wear, the wearables-focused Android platform previously teased for developers earlier this year.

The interface is Google Now cards-heavy, with frequent updates on everyday tasks already tapping into Google data juice, such as scheduled flight times, packages and shipments, and even detecting other Android devices around you.

Available today, Singleton asserted the Android Wear SDK allows developers to build "glanceable" notifications with a fully customizable user interface, taking advantage of control sensors and voice actions -- not to mention the billions of notifications generated by "hundreds of thousands of apps" each day.

"With just a few lines of code, you can let users know on their wrists or in their cars," said Android engineering director Patrick Brady.

The LG G Watch will also be available to order later today via Google Play. Samsung is also tapping into Android Wear with the Samsung Live smartwatch, also becoming available to purchase immediately.

Much to the dismay of the keynote audience, the Moto 360 smartwatch won't follow until later this summer.

That's followed by Android Auto, the in-car connected system for navigation, communication, and streaming music. For end users, there won't be much of a learning curve here either with an interface also depending on Google Now.

Some of the more car-friendly functions intended to promise safer navigation (for both driving and taking advantage the contextually-aware platform), Android Auto supports touch, voice and the steering wheel to control music and other features. Google Maps for Auto is actually entirely voice-enabled.

Acknowledging the myriad and fragmentation of connected car systems already on the market, the Android Auto SDK is designed to let developers build apps for the car just like they would for mobile devices.

"With just a few lines of code, you can let users know on their wrists or in their cars," said Android engineering director Patrick Brady about notifications.

Brady didn't offer a specific release date for the Auto SDK, but he said it should be ready later this year.

Google has also tapped more than 100 partners for the Open Automotive Alliance. The first cars sporting Android Auto are scheduled to roll off lots later this year too.

Moving on into the home, Google is giving the living room another shot. Google TV might not have worked out as originally hoped, so the Internet giant is realigning its resources around Android TV.

Yet, Google's latest stab at supporting the TV experience is more about providing a software framework to which both developers and TV manufacturers can adapt.

Although there is more in terms of gaming and search (also tapping into Google Now and other Android devices in proximity), the user experience is reminiscent of Google's more successful home entertainment hardware, Chromecast.

Google has evidently found more interest among manufacturers with Android TV than Google TV. Google engineering director Dave Burke noted Google is already "working with everyone from Marvell to Intel" to integrate Android TV on HDTVs in development.

But none of this means Google isn't invested in hardware anymore.

A success right out of the gates since debuting last summer, Chromecast isn't going anywhere. According to Google reps, YouTube alone sees more activity via Chromecast than any other device.

Rishi Chandra, director of product management for Chromecast, explained how the dongle device is getting bigger (in connectivity and reach, not form factor), starting with being able to connect to nearby devices that aren't necessarily on the same Wi-Fi network.

As if all of the above weren't enough, Google is also further encouraging consumers to buy into the entire Android ecosystem by positioning Chromecast as a way for users to mirror any Android device on the "biggest screens in the house," or TVs.

Google developers can tap into the upgrade via the Google Cast SDK. All Android users can expect to see access via opt-in authentication later this year. Mirroring Android devices will be available for select smartphones and tablets in the coming weeks as well.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Hardware, Web development

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  • Unbelievable

    If you ever wondered how human beings would ever allow such thing to happen in real life as "Big Brother" did in the book 1984, well here it is.

    Just about as big and obvious as could be. And we just know there are going to be plenty of turnip heads claiming that its all just great.

    Its insane is what it is. Google wants to know how many times a day, and where we take a leak. This is plain ridiculous.

    Sometimes as humans we just push things way too far.
  • asasas

  • 125 times a day

    I don't know where they get their figures, if that is an average, then some one is really bored as I might come close to a tenth of that figure. It seems very ridiculous that anyone would reach for a device that many times daily. What ever for? It is primarily a phone, after all!
    • Well, the avaregae human

      takes 17,000 to 23,000 breaths a day.

      I'm guessing Google will use that info to look for a way to reduce that, too.
    • Actually

      I believe my kids can go days without making a phone call. That doesn't mean it isn't looked at. a lot. If they are making plans they might have 30 texts in a matter of 10 minutes. It could be argued that it is actually on look or is it 30 looks.
  • Go Google

    As for someone who doesn't care if google knows when I'm taking a shit ( why would I, I have nothing to hide), I really looking forward to g-stuff. At least i dont have to pay through the nose for i-stuff. I can develop or make use of my open g-stuff without an i-care in the world.

    Seriously tho, looking forward to my phone powering in car system whilst telling me about it on my g-watch. Good stuff.
    • Your forsight is zero.

      Ya, today your "As for someone who doesn't care if google knows when I'm taking a shit ( why would I, I have nothing to hide)"

      Tomorrows another day. I laugh with glee at all the mindless souls who think that because they have "nothing to hide" that this is all cool. That is...right up until someone finds out about what it is they are keeping to themselves. What is cool is seeing the people who really freak when they figure out too late that simply saying you have nothing to hide because you think you can keep what you want to hide well hidden dosnt work, when the world around them suddenly becomes aware of what it is they have been hiding.

      Everyone says they have nothing to hide, everyone has something to hide. Right now your just able to keep it hidden. And your pretty sure it will stay that way, its your own private personal business right? Nobody including Google or anyone needs to know and nor will they as far as your concerned.

      Here is the real fun part;

      All here who think that once Google has their fingers into your computer, your smartphone, your car and your home that that's the place where it all ends, mission accomplished...please put up your hand?!

      If anyone raised their hand they're a madman. It never ends until someone says stop.

      We see people getting ticked at the government intercepting our communications. But when an ever increasing ability to track our every move through some new tech comes along, do we simply say "lets do'er!"? What could go wrong?

      Firstly, for the slow minded, its not the fear of tracking and gathering of information against the wicked and evil law breakers the cautious are pointing to as a potential problem. If you came on here and said "Ive got stuff I need to keep hidden, I cant have any invasive tech in my life!!!", well then, you might be the poster child for why it might be a good idea to have such tech around.

      The issue is the relatively moral and honest citizen who needs protection from unnecessary invasive tech.

      What records will be kept...not just as of today, so to speak, but as the invasive and information gathering ability to compile such data increases? When someone gets in a dispute with a neighbor or perhaps a sudden dissolution of marriage, or your child does something that runs afoul of the law, or your pet perhaps, a relative or inlaw who is unruly comes to your house and some unfortunate incident takes place...will records of what may turn out to be relevant information gathered by Google be able to be subpoenaed?

      I just laugh when people sit around with so much false pride, "oh no, not me! I have nothing to hide. Im of ...those kind...".

      Ya right. Im in a business where you soon learn that depending on only the slightest differences in circumstances that suddenly change too quick to realize until too late, that way more of us than you would ever DREAM of are often a lot closer to being "one of those kind" than we realize.

      This is the boiling frog story if there ever was one. Its so obvious and plain its completely frightening to some degree. Its not just whats happening today ladies and gentlemen. George Orwell didn't paint the picture of 1984 as some weird situation that fell into place literally overnight. It was a picture of what society could become over a significant enough period of time and circumstances.

      The common problem with many socially apocalyptic stories are that they almost always have to be founded on some premise that we sat around as humans and simply watched as some development or aspect of society gradually changed and we just turned a blind eye to some degree of another, and over time the change gradually became something very distasteful, and then we were stuck with it.

      I have seen many thinking people remark about such stories, that while often entertaining, and sometimes even having an interesting moral to the story or social point to make, that the premise itself, that such a thing could ever really happen is practically impossible because the social impact of the plot is so horrible its certainly something we would see as a potential bad problem looming on a distant horizon, as humans we would head it off before it got that far.

      As in; "interesting story, but as if we would ever just sit back and let things go down such a path until this thing took place, it would never happen".

      Look at some of the books and movies that have entertained us over the years that work this way. The story takes place some point in the distant or not so distant future and some governing body, of some sort, has instituted some ghastly social measures that seem to be required, or perhaps because the governing force simply now can, because we did nothing apparently while watching our society hurtle towards this disastrous position for ages with out doing much of anything to prevent it from happening.

      Death Race 2000
      Escape From New York/L.A.
      Fahrenheit 451
      The Hunger Games
      Logans Run
      Silent Running
      Soylent Green
      The Running Man
      THX 1138

      Just a small sample of the movies that have been made over the years about how badly as humans we supposedly could get things screwed up for ourselves in the future. And through the drama or sometimes cheese factor of some of these, the theme remains the same. Somewhere along the line we would have had to really take our eye off the ball in some very broad general societal way to let things get so bad that we let things get to such a bizarre and anti social place.

      All Im asking is, do you really think its a great idea to start the process of having our every move in life tracked and the data managed? Im not so sure.
  • people will get tired of wearing these very quickly

    ... used to wear it at first, till it tired him; and then he kept it in a pouch next his skin, till it galled him; and now usually he hid it in a hole in the rock
  • Funny. I think I have seen this movie before.

    Wasn't it in the 1990s, and wasn't it another company that now it seems a lot of people seem to love to hate. Oh, why yes, it was. Remember "Windows Everywhere"?????

    If you recall (or want to) that was Microsoft's grand plan to have Windows running everything from DataLink watches to the embedded management, control and infotainment systems in cars. There was Microsoft TV, there was MSN, there was Pocket PC. There was even attempts at tablets (which then peaked with XP Tablet Edition, which paralleled Media Center Edition). Even back then Samsung was putting some of the first LCDs on the front of fridges.

    And the tech journalist crowd fawned all over it all. Until a little company called Netscape started screaming "antitrust" and we know where that ended. MS is Darth and the DOJ shot the missile into the exhaust port of the Death Star. The result is history. Or rather...


    Yesterday was a virtually perfect re-enactment. Android in cars, on TVs, in appliances, and so forth. And as usual when we repeat history, it's bigger and better. Microsoft never wanted your thermostat or to monitor your vital signs. And lest we forget, then never wanted all your data - all the time. After all, unlike Microsoft who made their fortune on their products, Google really does not. They make their fortune off YOU!!! What's worse than Big Brother - Big Brother corporation. They watch you AND monetize you AND try go get you to spend on their affiliated partners what they don't get from you via advertising. Perfect!

    All that's missing is the next Netscape that gets its knickers in a knot and screams the magic word. And it WILL happen (or the EU will do it for us all.)

    We sure do like repeating history, don't we!