Report: Google developing a smart watch to challenge Apple

Report: Google developing a smart watch to challenge Apple

Summary: When rumors surfaced that Apple was developing a smart watch all of the big players jumped into the fray. WSJ reports that Google is developing a smart watch to follow to its smart glasses.

TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
WSJ: Google developing a smart watch to challenge Apple - Jason O'Grady

The Wall Street Journal posted an article today about how Google is developing a video game console, not entirely surprising, but in the article was this gem about the company also developing a smart watch to rival the likes of Pebble, Sony, and presumably Apple:

Google Inc. is developing a videogame console and wristwatch powered by its Android operating system, according to people familiar with the matter, as the Internet company seeks to spread the software beyond smartphones and tablets...

The people briefed on the matter said Google is reacting in part to expectations that rival Apple will launch a videogame console as part of its next Apple TV product release.

I'm not interested in the console gaming aspect of the WSJ piece, but I'm extremely interested in the wearable computing angle as I believe that smart watches have the potential to be the next frontier in the digital revolution and I think that Apple feels the same way. 

According to Bloomberg around 1.2 million smart watches will be sold in 2013, generating $370 million in sales and ABI Research estimated in May that sales could jump more than 20-fold by 2015.

MacRumors notes:

News of Apple's upcoming smart watch dubbed "iWatch" surfaced in December, and hints that Google would develop a competing product surfaced in March, though the company filed for a patent on the technology at an earlier date. 

Predictably, Samsung announced that it was developing a wristwatch similar to a smartphone in March.

Sony recently announced its second-generation SmartWatch 2 (due in September) to pretty anemic reviews although it looks like an improvement over its craptastic first effort. I still recommend waiting on the vaunted Pebble smart watch too, as it feel alpha at best. 

What will it take to make a successful smart watch? Can Apple re-invent the category?

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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  • Smartwatch Wish

    I wish it has heartbeat detector, gyroscope, compass, instant connection to smartphone GPS, mail, calendar, easy to navigate, slim, long life battery, waterproof, easy to see, and not too expensive.
  • Wearable tech

    If the stuff on the image is "real", that would only exist in lab conditions. It would not survive much on the hands of most people.
  • Who's Challenging Who?

    Sony's been in the smart watch business for a while. Apple, Google and Samsung are RUMORS, with some patented research.

    Doesn't look like a challenge other than Sony's challenge to make a profit in this market.
    • Never saw or heard of any Sony Smart Watch....

      Kind of says allot about its success in the market.

      Wasn't Microsoft in the tablet market long before Apple's iPad came in and dominated? Microsoft also dabbled with Smart Watches back in 2004 (SPOT) but we know how that turned out. It's not about who's first but who gets it right, first.
  • MY theory:

    Apple is never going to make a smart watch. They created this rumor in order to get their competitors to waste a bunch of money and R/D on a really stupid concept.
    • It might make good sense for Google though

      It makes sense if Google plans to use the smart watch to connect with Google Glass. The smart watch could provide the wireless access that your phone would normally supply.

      The combination of Google Glass and a smart watch could do away with having to carry a smart phone altogether.
      • And the User Can Look Doubly Nerdy

      • Smart Phone?

        The what would be the point of the phone in the first place? We are basically removing phones. Making ways to use your phone...Without the phone. Paying extra money for no reason. Phones are becoming obsolete....
        Jaren Kates
  • I am testing the Microsoft watch...

    It is a fantastic piece of wearable technology. I told my wife I was no longer wearing the watch she gave me for our 15th anniversary and would instead where the gorgeous fit and finish of the Microsoft Surface Pro Blue Watch. I also was able to get PowerPoint on Excel on this baby so I can participate in corporate power-broker collateral while getting the time.
    Mike Cox
  • Er, nice title

    Er, Jason, just out of interest how is Google (rumoured) developing a smart watch to rival Apple (rumoured)?
    You can't challenge something that doesn't exist (and may never).
    Why not:
    "Report: Google developing a smart watch to challenge Samsung" ??
    As they would both be running android (most likely, hard to know for sure as they are all mythical)

    Click-baiting from the self professed apple-tard. And you probably think Apple invented the smart-watch.........
  • Booty

    Who isn't developing a smart watch? Wearable tech is great, but come on.... we have been hearing a lot of hype, but the proof is in the pudding.
  • Hey I sold them in the 60's

    Hey, I sold then in the 60's, working part time for a toy store. It was called the Dick Tracy watch. I think a smartphone shows the time just fine, and a $18 Casio watch works well for those without smartphones ;)