Google improved Wear OS immensely when it collaborated with Samsung. It looks like the company wants to improve Wear OS even further. It has acquired KoruLab, a Finland-based company that has expertise in making user interfaces for smartwatches (and low-power devices like wearables and IoTs) that run smoothly even with limited resources and consume extremely low power.
Commenting on the matter, the Country Manager of Google Finland, Antti Järvinen, said, “today’s announcement strengthens Google’s commitment to Finland and takes our Wear OS platform forward with the help of Koru’s unique low-power user interface expertise.” It looks like Google will use KoruLab’s expertise to make Wear OS run on fewer resources and consume a lower amount of power. With this improvement, Wear OS smartwatches could perform faster and have much better battery life.
With the launch of Wear OS 3, Google said that it worked with Samsung “to optimize the lower layers of the operating system – taking advantage of low-power hardware cores to enable better battery life.” Now, Google is taking a step further in that direction.
Koru could significantly improve the battery life of Wear OS smartwatches
More specifically, KoruLab has developed Koru, “a declarative Graphical UI Framework providing design freedom even on a limited microcontroller-based hardware.” The technology seems to be very energy-efficient, and here’re some of its features as claimed by the company:
- The library is only 128 kB, and it has wide operating Kernel support from RTOS to Linux. It renders 60fps graphics on Cortex M4-based microcontrollers.
- The system is incredibly efficient, taking only 128 kB of RAM and able to sleep 98% of the time while updating a clock every second.
- Energy efficiency is one of our cornerstones. We can do a full powerup-update screen-sleep cycle in 20 ms. We can boot the system from off in 500 ms. With Koru, a week of battery life is attainable.
- Wide OS Kernel support: RTOS, ANDROID, NetBSD, Linux. Wide graphics engine support OpenGL ES, Open VG, and Framebuffer. Full native integration with ST Microelectronics Chrom-ART 2D hardware accelerator.
KoruLab has 30 employees, and all of them are now moving to Google. The founder of the company is Christian Lindholm, who previously worked with Nokia. KoruLab’s board chairman is Anssi Vanjoki, who reportedly had a long-term influence on Nokia’s board.
Previously, KoruLab collaborated with NXP Semiconductors, a chip manufacturing firm, and customized its solution for the company. Considering that KoruLab has had an impressive run, it will hopefully improve Wear OS and the smartwatches running on it.