Soon, there could be a series of independent operating systems for your smart watch, emerging from an open source project launched last week. Independent developers who manufacture budget-priced smartwatches can now use the OpenWatch Project startup code to create their Android-based operating systems. The OpenWatch project is live since last week. It was released by Blocks, the same company behind the next Blocks smart watch.
Blocks engineering chief Karl Taylor said the project is intended to "open the space of the smartwatch operating system to the open source community in an attempt to loosen the domain of the industry by another essentially proprietary operating system." He called Google Use OS (formerly Android Wear) and Apple's watchOS as the two main operating systems that currently dominate smartwatches. While there are a number of options for hardware companies to choose, Taylor said none of them provided the flexibility companies need to truly customize the hardware of a watch.
"The first piece of the puzzle that someone would need to develop the next big portable OS"
Project OpenWatch is an attempt to allow developers to do it. It is not an independent operating system. Instead, it gives developers a support package that allows them to customize the open source version of Android to their liking and connect the operating system to the hardware more easily. Blocks calls it "the first piece of the puzzle that someone would need to develop the next big portable OS."
Blocks had the idea of Project OpenWatch when he was developing his modular smart watch and discovered that the watchOS systems of Apple, Google Wear OS and Tizen did not support the plug-and-play modules he wanted to include, according to Liliputing. Next, Blocks created its own operating system based on Android, which required the company to create an interface for its software to talk to the watch's hardware. Blocks decided to give away the interface it had designed so that other developers could more easily connect their own operating systems with their hardware. At the same time, Blocks expected that he would get "a little help to improve his own device", since the developers provide feedback and information. It is expected that some day this will lead to some alternatives to Android Wear.
Before OpenWatch became public, Blocks tested the project with two partners, the CarbonROM firmware company and the open source community working on LineageOS (the successor to CyanogenMod). Both groups are building Android operating systems based on Oreo over OpenWatch, although none have announced launch plans yet.
At launch, OpenWatch already supports several low-end clocks, including Lemfo LES1, Zeblaze Thor, Look Watch and KingWear KW88, among others. Blocks said it aimed at devices that were in the lower $ 100 range so that it could "reduce the financial barrier to entry for developers who started with this."