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Google releases kit for wearable computers

Google is releasing the software specifications in a

Google is releasing the software specifications in a so-called kit to encourage new designs for wearable computers, like Google Glass used here on Feb. 26, 2014. Credit: Bloomberg News / Angel Navarrete

Google is releasing tools for software developers to make applications for wearable-computing devices, trying to repeat the success it's had with the Android mobile-operating system for gadgets people wear on their bodies.

Google senior vice president Sundar Pichai, speaking at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, said the tools will be available in the coming weeks and that the so-called software developer kit will be for more than just wristwatchlike devices. Google wants to give developers a way to make any number of applications -- even a jacket with sensors -- said Pichai, who runs Google's Android and Chrome businesses.

Google is moving into new devices as it looks for ways to get users on its services and boost advertising dollars. The company based in Mountain View, Calif. has been offering early versions of a computerized eyewear called Glass.

Google and Apple Inc. have both already fueled an ecosystem of applications for smartphones and tablets. Google is unveiling the new software tools so developers can also make everything from games to social networking apps for wearable devices.

The market for wearable computers is projected to reach $20 billion in sales by 2016, according to IHS.

Pichai also said Google has sold more than a million Chromecast devices that lets users stream video from a mobile device to a television.

The device will soon be released internationally, he said.

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