Google introduced three smartwatches, software to make cars smarter, and Android TV at its annual I/O developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday.
Two of the watches, the LG G watch, and Samsung Gear Live, will be available today, while the Moto 360 will be available later. No price was immediately given.
The company also introduced Android Auto, software to develop applications specifically for automobiles, and Android TV.
The watches are powered by software designed to make wearables—in particular watches—contextually aware of the user’s environment, and provide relevant information to guide the user through the day.
The watch would be able monitor health, play music, provide notifications, and sync with the users’ phone. The watch will compete with Apple, which is expected to launch its own later in the Fall.
Andrew Brenner, head of Google automotive, said that cars enabled with Android Drive will be rolled out by automakers as early as the end of the year. It will enhance navigation, communication, will be contextually aware, and be voice controlled.
Android director Dave Burke said that Android TV will, like the car, be voice activated, and powered by search. Users will be able to talk into their phones to pull up shows, for example. The company is working with companies like Sony, Sharp, Intel, Marvel and others on the product, Burke said.
The TV platform will also feature games, and will become what Rishi Chandra—Google’s head of TV—called the largest photo display in your house.
The company also touted the growth in usage of its Android operating system, unveiled a host of enhancements to its development platform. Head of software Sundar Pichai also unveiled a smartphone for less than $100 made specifically for emerging markets, to go on sale in India in the Fall.
Google’s developer conference is important because the tech space now has six brand/platform giants: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Samsung. Each is grappling for growth in various ways. Each has won a different slice of the PC/Web 2.0/Mobile eras, and each is trying to keep from getting steamrolled in the next era, whatever that happens to be.
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