By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 22, 2013 09:36 AM EDT
After reports that Apple and Samsung are working on smartwatches, Google is now reportedly working on its own Android smartwatch to join the race.
The smartwatch fever seems to be going around, and with three tech heavyweights working on such devices it's safe to assume that 2013 looks like the year of the smartwatch. The news comes after numerous reports hinting at an Apple iWatch and a more recent confirmation from Samsung execs that the South Korean company is also working on a Samsung smartwatch. Google will reportedly join the fray with its own Android-powered Google smartwatch.
According to the Financial Times, Google's smartwatch is allegedly in the works at the company's Android unit, not its X Lab. This is a significant detail, as it suggests that unlike Google Glass, the company may be working to get a consumer product out on the market on a speedier timeline.
"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," reports the Financial Times. "The project is separate from Samsung's efforts, the source said, although there is no indication of when it might launch."
The report further mentions the fact that Google filed for a "smart watch" patent back in 2011. This would suggest the Google smartwatch product is not just a timely product to catch up to new trends and boost competition, but something in the works for a couple of years. The Internet giant's patent application describes a concept with a dual-screen display and interactive user interface (UI).
In terms of Apple's iWatch, the Cupertino company did not officially confirm working on the gadget, but reports claim that Apple has a strong team of 100 people working on the project. The Apple smartwatch, dubbed iWatch by the media, is also expected to run a "full version of iOS," but no release details are available yet.
None of these three tech heavyweights — Apple, Samsung and Google — is breaking new ground with its purported smartwatches, but they all might just change the game. Plenty of smartwatches, fitness bands or some sort of hybrids between the two already made their debut, but an Apple-, Samsung- or Google-branded smartwatch may take things to a whole new level, heralding the wearable technology era.
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