One of the biggest highlights of today’s Google I/O keynote was Android Wear, a new notification and interaction system for Android that’s built for wearables. While by default we’re only thinking about smartwatches using Android Wear, Google has also revealed that Glass will support this new wearable standard, too.
Android Wear is a brand new way that Google wearables – notably smartwatches and Google Glass, will interact with the Android smartphones and tablets people own. The standard is built around three main types of notifications, which come from your phone. The idea is that information can come to your watch (or face) at a glance and will help you save time between those moments you want to get important information, such as directions to a nearby restaurant.
Google Glass, having been out for over a year, already has its own APIs and application development, but its current development standards will exist alongside the new Android Wear notification standard. This will allow both devices to interact with your smartphone or tablet in a unified way, while letting Glass users take advantage of the much more unique gesture-based technology that the device offers. Both Glass and smartwatches powered by Android Wear will also support their own application development so that users can still run device-specific apps without the parent device.
It’s clear Google is trying to unify its wearable experience for Android users, even if the devices come in different shapes and sizes or are for different parts of your body. The only problem left in the equation is how well these devices will be in harmony. If you get a notification on your device, it will appear on both your smartwatch and Glass? That would certainly get annoying if you get a lot of messages throughout the day. Google hasn’t yet devised a way to prioritize notifications between the devices when utilizing the Android Wear notification system, but considering this is all a work in progress, such a feature will likely come in the future.