The rumored smartwatch from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is apparently in the final stages of development, and the Mountain View, Calif.-based company is in talks with Asian manufacturers to begin mass production, according to a new report. The Google smartwatch will run the Android mobile operating system and integrate with the Google Now personal assistant, sources told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.
A Google smartwatch would be the latest entry into the crowded wearable technology field. It will complete against similar devices like the Samsung Galaxy Gear, Sony SmartWatch 2, Nike Fuelband, the unnamed Adidas smartwatch and even one from Nissan called Nismo. HTC and Apple are both believed to have smartwatches in the works as well.
Like the others currently on the market, the Google smartwatch is believed to be a companion device to smartphones. It would allow users to make calls, adjust music and display emails and messages.
If Google’s smartwatch draws from Google Now, it could distinguish the device from the rest of the pack. Google Now is seen by many as an answer to Apple’s Siri personal assistant, as it can answer questions, provide recommendations based on the user's preferences and location, and provide personalized “cards” that show things like the weather, stocks quotes, sport scores and travel plans.
Google Now would make the Google smartwatch much more useful than competitors like the Galaxy Gear, but Google will still have to overcome the battery life issues that have plagued other wearable devices.
The report follows an announcement by Google that it is expanding its Google Glass Explorers program by allowing current users to invite three friends each. It also announced that it would release a second generation of Google Glass with updated hardware.