This week Google announced that they are bringing Android to wearable technology. This is already been a big topic of discussion (one I’ve actually spoken on a few times) and Google feels it’s the next big step in technology; I share those sentiments and have been pretty open about them. I own a Jawbone UP and Google Glass, and a smart watch has been on my radar for a while. With the new Android Wear project, it will be even easier to create wearables, and even better, create wearables using Android. This could have some big implications, not only for app developers, but also web developers.
Responsive Web Design is all but an ubiquitous term in the web development world right now; coders and clients alike are focusing on making websites that look good on smartphones and tablets. There is just recently a focus on moving up to bigger screens, but what about screens so small that the interactions are limited to voice and swipe?
In my recent ebook, The Web Designer’s Guide to Google Glass, I discuss the importance of considering these types of devices early on the web development process. Yes, it’s true that less than 1% of people have Google Glass and that wearables are just beginning to permeate the market; even fewer have a viable screen to view websites on. I think with Android Wear, this will change. Google is integrating Google Now into everything it’s doing, and at it’s core Google Now is an extension of search; browser support is as inevitable as it is foreseeable and we need to start thinking about how people will use our websites on these smaller devices.
With Google Glass, you have a touch panel on the right side of your head which you can use in conjunction with moving your head to “look around” a website. At this point, you can’t interact with forms, submit information, etc. Perhaps that will change in the future. I think Google Glass and wearables in general are more about delivering content in a readable, easy to consume way.
I’m excited to see what Android Wear as to offer as far as features and functionality. I think this will be a big step in a new direction in technology and in the web.