Is Google Making A Smartwatch?
March 22, 2013

New Rumors Say Google May Want A Piece Of The Smartwatch Pie

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Never one to be left apart from the crowd, Google is now rumored to be developing a smartwatch too, according to the Financial Times. It´s something of a new trend, and both Apple and Samsung have been rumored to be developing a watch that users can sync up with a smartphone, although neither company has given any official word on the devices. A Samsung executive said recently that they have been “preparing the watch product for so long” but gave no other indication of any pending watch plans.

According to the Financial Times, Google has their own brand of the smartwatch under development in their Android unit, possibly signifying that they mean to move quickly on this project. If any of the chatter about smartwatches turns out to be true, Google may have to move quickly to get this product to the market.

Apple fans have been pondering what a watch from Cupertino might look like since 2010 when the sixth generation iPod nano was released. Though the player shipped with a clock feature, it took a Kickstarter campaign to marry the nano to a wristband and create an ℠Apple watch´ of sorts. Since then, reports from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have fueled Apple´s smartwatch rumors of a touchscreen device made of flexible glass.

Samsung´s smartwatch rumors began to heat up earlier this year when alleged screenshots were leaked online of a screen that looked suspiciously watch-like. Following the unveiling of their Galaxy S 4 smartphone, Samsung´s mobile vice president told Bloomberg they have been working on their own watch.

“We´ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” said Lee Young Hee in an interview with Bloomberg.

“We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”

Where there´s smoke there´s fire, and there´s plenty of smoke billowing from this story to suggest that three of the largest tech companies in the world plan to enter this market.

The Financial Times piece is short on spec details about Google´s smartwatch, citing an unnamed source who was only able to say which department was developing the watch. This watch is also said to be different from Samsung´s rumored watch and there is no indication when it may launch, if at all.

The Financial Times blog also trots out a 2011 Google patent filing which describes a “smart watch” with a “flip-up display.”

This patent was discovered last October and described some quickly emerging and common themes. For instance, the Google patent mentions a touchscreen, GPS, voice search and the ability to make and place phone calls and read incoming messages.

As a Google watch, expect this imaginary device to be able to search the web and deliver turn-by-turn directions. The 2011 patent also mentions a camera which could be used to “see” the wearer´s surroundings.

As it stands now, however, each of these three smartwatches could be completely fictional. The companies may have these watches in their labs, but no official word has been given on any of them.