The smartwatch could be the device of tomorrow – or indeed not – but the big tech companies are certainly taking this possibility seriously, with Google the latest to join the ranks of those rumoured to be weighing up the potential of smart wristwear.
It’s fair to say that the Pebble smartwatch, and its huge success on Kickstarter – raising $10 million almost a year ago now – sparked the interest in the field, despite the fact that the Pebble certainly wasn’t the first smartwatch.
Pebble watches are due to ship in April or May, but there are already smartwatches on the market available to buy – the Sony SmartWatch, MetaWatch, Martian Watch, the list goes on…
Apple was the first heavyweight tech company to be rumoured to join the smartwatch race, with what will presumably be called the iWatch, a device that will link up with your iPhone.
Apple certainly needs to find a new tech domain to explore, lest Cupertino is accused of going stale and simply pushing out incremental updates of new iPhones and iPads every year.
And as we’ve written before, an iWatch would seem like a far less risky proposition than a costly iTV, the other big piece of tech Apple is rumoured to be mulling over.
At any rate, Samsung also recently popped up in a smartwatch rumour, and now Google has.
According to the FT (via PCR), Google is looking to compete against both Apple and Samsung – despite the fact that it’s already working on its famous glasses as a fresh avenue of exploration.
A source told the FT: “While Glass is being created in its X Lab, home to experimental “moonshot” projects such as the self-driving car, Google’s smartwatch is being developed by its Android unit.”
That makes sense if we see the smartwatch in terms of being a convenient link to your Android smartphone, allowing for notifications and so forth to be seen on your wrist, on the go, without having to pull your phone out of your pocket.
We’re still not convinced of the market for smartphones, though – least of all because watches seem to be becoming less popular exactly because smartphones are becoming all-pervading.
Though perhaps a fancy designer iWatch from Apple will sway opinion somewhat. Who knows.
At any rate, the big tech names seem to be very interested in the potential of the smartwatch – now all we need now is for Microsoft to join the rumour mill.