With Android Wear critical, open source AsteroidOS offers smartwatches a life line
Android Wear has been on life support for a while. We’re still waiting for the miracle cure of Android Wear 2.0, but the clock is ticking, the doctors seem pre-occupied and various relatives have already given up hope as smartwatches limp ever closer to the precipice. But smartwatches may just have a new hope: a new open-source wearable platform called AsteroidOS.
AsteroidOS is the brainchild of French computer science student Florent Revest. It is not even based on Android Wear, but is a standalone Linux-based wearable OS that has been designed specifically to make it as portable as possible. AsteroidOS’ open-source nature also sidesteps the one great failing of Android Wear: it can be freely modified by developers and manufacturers.
AsteroidOS is still in alpha phase and as such is far from perfect, but the demo video shared recently on YouTube demonstrates how solid it looks already, complete with several default apps like a calendar, alarm clock, timer, calculator, weather, stopwatch and music app. You can even already pair it with your Android phone via Bluetooth and receive notifications. Check it out in action below.
The immediate goals of Florent and the team of developers who have spent the last year developing AsteroidOS is to improve its battery life and add support for more sensors.
Jolla, the company behind SailfishOS, has already lent its support to the new wearable platform, indicating it might not be long before the OS gets even more support from larger partners (not to mention smaller devs) looking to breathe new life into smartwatches. Of course, whether AsteroidOS is enough to salvage wearables is anybody’s guess.
If you’ve got an Android Wear watch gathering dust in a drawer somewhere and would like to give AsteroidOS a spin, you can already grab builds for the LG Watch Urbane, original LG G Watch, Sony Smartwatch 3 and Asus Zenwatch 2.
You can find flashing instructions on AsteroidOS’ community page and find all the relevant technical info on Florent’s Github page, but do be warned that only the original G Watch currently has support for Bluetooth pairing.
Do you think Android Wear 2.0 will reinvigorate smartwatches? Or are wearables dead in the water?