A couple of weeks ago, we’d heard a rumor that Google would be working on a smart watch that would emphasize Google Now integration. This wasn’t totally unbelievable, of course, as rumors of smart watches being developed by the internet giant have been swirling for months. Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that we’re closer than ever to seeing an unveiling.
According to them, Google has started talks with Asian partners to mass produce the device in the “months ahead.” As close as they make it sound, the timeline seems closer to “a few months” than anything in the immediate future. That’s still quite close, though, and such a timeline could put us on track for a Q1 2014 unveiling.
Google’s apparent goal with a smart watch of their own is to introduce a solution that’s not gimmicky, but useful, and has battery life exceptional enough to make for pain-free, day-to-day usage. Google certainly has a chance to hit on all those points, especially with the power of Google Now being the driving force behind the experience.
Being able to look down at your wrist and get all the updates that matter to you — such as upcoming appointments and meetings, reminders, directions to various destinations, information about movie showtimes and sports, and more — in automatic fashion would be killer. Google could also be looking to introduce standard connectivity features that is compatible with most smartphones, such as information about incoming calls and the ability to view notifications.
As decent as smart watches have been so far, there’s no secret that the sector is leaving a lot to be desired. The Pebble smart watch is an inexpensive option, but limited functionality has people from flocking to it in droves.
Mainstream offerings from Samsung and Sony have garnered lots of attention, but the value of these products are questionable. Take Samsung, for instance — the Galaxy Gear only works with a few smartphones, and it costs $300. Even with millions of Samsung users, that’s not exactly a winning formula in today’s world.
More folks are looking to step into the ring soon, with Qualcomm’s Mirasol-enabled Toq smart watch turning quite a few heads. We’re also aware that LG could be getting ready to take the segment on at some point in the future.
While we’re happy about any attempts to move the smart watch scene forward, we reckon it won’t be until Google raises the bar that everyone else begins to step their game up (much like they’ve been able to do with Android so far). Let’s hope our expectations are met whenever they’re ready to unveil it at some point next year.