Google's Android unit reportedly building a smartwatch

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According to a recent report from The Financial Times, Google might also be getting into the smartwatch game. And unlike Glass, which was developed in the company’s experimental X Lab, the watch (not pictured above) is said to be under development by the Android unit, possibly indicating that Google sees it as a more immediately viable product. According to FT’s source, the Google watch is separate from Samsung’s recently-announced effort.

The next frontier in consumer electronics

Wearable electronics like watches are seen as the next frontier in consumer electronics, and everyone from established players like Samsung and (reportedly) Apple, to smaller companies and startups like Jawbone and Pebble, and even Nike, are scrambling to stake out a piece of the action. While Google wouldn't comment on the rumor, FT points out a 2011 Google patent application for a "smart watch" with a dual-screened "flip-up display" and "tactile user interface," although any product that Google did eventually bring to market could have little resemblance to the invention it describes. It's worth noting that Google acquisition Motorola produced its own Android-powered smartwatch under the name MotoACTV.

Moreso than most of its rivals in the budding smartwatch business, Google has the software expertise to build a product that isn't just a low-powered smartphone with a wrist strap, evidenced by the creativity we've seen in its Glass project. But with no details on timing and Apple reportedly months away from releasing its own smartwatch, fielding a successful product is hardly going to be a walk in the park.

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