Android Wear is the company's software platform for linking smartwatches from companies including LG, Samsung and Motorola to Android phones and tablets. A preview of Wear was introduced this spring, but today Google provided more details on how it will work and made it clear that the company is investing heavily in the notion that wearables are the future, even as early smartwatches have failed to impress most consumers.
Android Wear takes much of the functionality of Google Now and makes an attached smartwatch the home for receiving notifications and context-based information and suggestions that currently live within Now on Android devices. If you're traveling, Android Wear can push relevant flight, weather and other information direct to your watch, where you can tap and swipe your way through it and use embedded prompts and voice control to take further actions, like dictating a note reminding you to pack rain gear. (Interestingly, the voice note example was one of the few on-stage fails during the I/O keynote, as the phone refused to take dictation.)