In recent weeks, reports have suggested that Apple and Samsung are developing “smartwatches”–smartphone-like devices that can be worn on the wrist. Now rumors suggest Google and LG are working on smartwatches of their own.
Tim Bradshaw with The Financial Times reported, “Apple is widely rumoured to be working on an ‘iWatch’ and a Samsung executive said this week that it has “been preparing the watch product for so long.” Now, Silicon Valley’s rumour mill suggests that Google, too, has such a device in the works. While Glass is being created in its X Lab, home to experimental “moonshot” projects such as the self-driving car, Google’s smart watch is being developed by its Android unit, according to a person briefed on the project, to act as an extension to the smartphones using that operating system. The project is separate from Samsung’s efforts, the source said, although there is no indication of when it might launch.”
PCMag’s Adario Strange added, “If Google does decide to join what is shaping up to be a smartwatch race, we may already have some level of detail on how the device will function thanks to a patent document revealed late last year. The patent describes a device with a wristband, a flip-up display, a camera, wireless connectivity, and a tactile user interface. That certainly sounds like ‘a smartphone on your wrist,’ but patents have never been rock-solid indicators of which products technology companies definitely plan to bring to market. So, at this point, Google’s patent document can only serve as a helpful clue as to what the company might introduce in the future.”
In addition, Cho Mu-hyun with The Korea Times wrote, “Korean technology giant LG Electronics is developing its own smart wristwatch, effectively joining the competition between Apple and Samsung Electronics who are making theirs as well. A source familiar with the matter told The Korea Times Friday that the Yeouido-based firm’s development of the next-generation watch, along with an innovative smart product similar to Internet giant Google’s Glass, was part of its long-term strategy to keep its competitiveness in the volatile information technology (IT) industry.”
Mashable’s Stan Schroeder commented, “It’s possible these companies consider the smart watch the next big thing. Remember some of these companies, namely LG, have built a phone-watch hybrid (pictured [with the article]) before. However, we’re more inclined to believe that nowadays, no major consumer electronics manufacturer wants to be left behind on a new product category, even while we’re still deep in rumor territory.”