Monday, February 24, 2014

March or June? Google smartwatch nears release: Reports

In addition to the already-released Samsung Galaxy Gear series of smartwatches, the Pebble, and the Qualcomm Toq, a number of other companies are rumored to be working on their own: Microsoft, Apple and even Google. On Saturday, the same day that Samsung announced its Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch, TechCrunch confirmed the reality of the Internet giant's version.

Despite its already released (to beta testers) Google Glass smartglasses, Google is looking to a different type of wearable computing device. The long-rumored smartwatch is coming, but while it is “officially” expected to begin shipping in mid- to late March, far ahead of the anticipated public release of Glass. That would also beat Samsung's Galaxy Gear 2 to market; that device would not hit the market until sometime in April.

However, many members of Google's smartwatch team believe that the ship date will either slip to June, or that the watch will end up shipping incomplete with a smaller feature set than originally planned. That would be a sad state of affairs if the latter was chosen; we feel the original Galaxy Gear was "incomplete" and released too soon, and the results were evident.

The watch is being viewed as an Android phone accessory and will permit a user to monitor various notifications without whipping out his smartphone. Early prototypes reported had a Pebble Steel-like metal band, but it seems that Google has settled on a plastic band instead for the initial release.

The watch has a full-color display, with an LCD background that is said to "look like a cheap smartphone.”

Cnet has a different take on the smartwatch, and a different source, obviously. In that site's report, the month of March is still mentioned, but only for the announcement of the smartwatch The watch, though, would make a public appearance until June at Google I/O (date sound familiar?).

It looks like LG will benefit from its past (Nexus 4, Nexus 5) partnerships with Google, too. Reportedly, it has been tapped to manufacture the smartwatch for Google.

Despite the somewhat struggling start of the wearables market, it is estimated to be worth $19 billion by 2018, according to Juniper Research.

No comments: