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From hand to wrist: Android advances to smartwatches

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Android Wear? Google? smartwatch?

Google announced only three Android Wear watches at Google I/O, but there are plenty of others in the pipeline. London start-up Chooseblocks is prepping one designed to let customers decide how it will look and what it can do by adding functions from a list that includes heart-rate monitor, microphone, gesture control, blood oxygen level, fingerprint biometric security, kinetic charging, an extra battery, more memory, an e-ink screen and other features. No ship date or price are set yet but below is a video of how it works.

Source: Blocks

Not the first

Android Wear is not the first smartwatch OS, or even the first coming out this year. Android Wear partner Samsung announced in February it would rip the Android OS out of its Galaxy Gear smartwatches and replace the OS with a version of its Tizen smartphone OS modified to run on smartwatches. It also introduced a pair of new Tizen OS watches, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 in addition to upgrading Galaxy Gear customers to Tizen for free.

Asus and HTCeach of which has said it is working on a Wear watch but had nothing ready in time for Google I/Oare feeding the rumour mill rather than the supply chain. Asus is working on a low-cost version with an AMOLED display that will sell for less than $149, according to an anonymously sourced story at TechCrunch. HTC hasn't said anything about its watch work, but did release a behind-the-scenes video (below) that shows the desk of an HTC employee supporting an unidentified watch-like object that matches rumours among HTC watchers that the company will ship a square version in the fall.

Souce: HTC

Android Wear may be a completely new animal, but it has already learned to have fun. App developer Unit9 has released a game specifically for Android Wear, according to VentureBeat. The goal is to swipe blocks around a 5x5 field until you get enough similar ones together to make the groups disappear. It's designed for Wear-sized and touchscreens, but will also run on tablets, smartphones and even in a demo version online. It's available at Google Play for $1.69.

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