Smart watches seem to be the next frontier of the consumer electronics industry, and along with the some of its fiercest competitors, Google appears to be entering the market as well. We have known for a while that a Google smart watch was in the works but new reports suggest that the device is nearing mass production.
If these new reports are correct, the Google smart watch could be coming out as soon as the first or second quarter of 2014. The watch will run on the Android operating system (as expected), and will be based on the Google Now virtual assistant, which is already available on other Android devices.
Google is rumored to be in talks with Asian manufacturers to put its smart watch into mass production, which would mean Google was likely done with a final version of the device. Other smart watches, namely the Galaxy Gear from Samsung, have failed to take off, meaning that Google will need to separate itself from the reputation of smart watches thus far.
The tech giant aims to provide a smart watch which will offer a wider range of features than the Galaxy Gear and will also stay charged longer. Limited battery life on high-end smart watches has been one of the major areas of complaint for customers.
As with other smart watches, Google's reportedly would be able to sync up with smartphones in order to receive texts, e-mails, and other information. Google has a patent that would allow it to come out with a smart watch featuring a flip-up display, camera and wireless connectivity.
Without many competitors in the market, Google could easily become a market leader if it is able to introduce and release a smart watch early next year. Outside of the Galaxy Gear, Google will have to compete against Sony's SmartWatch 2, and Apple's still unannounced iWatch, which is also expected to come out in 2014.
The wearable devices market is relatively barren, with only a handful of no-name devices available alongside the Galaxy Gear and the Sony SmartWatch 2. Not only has the Gear failed to acquire the interest of customers, but current reports also suggest that Samsung is dealing with a massive 30 percent return rate for the device. The SmartWatch 2 just became available in the U.S. this month.
Unlike tablets and smartphones, wearable devices (as we are seeing them now) are quite new, which is likely the reason why Google is taking so many risks in order to bring Google Glass to the market. While Glass may be a bit more of a risk -- since few people want to walk around with glasses -- people are definitely interested in smart watches, but the market has yet to see a watch that is truly worthwhile.
Google has not commented on any of these production rumors, but it does seem likely that the company would be looking to put its smart watch into mass production sooner rather than later. Entering the market while there are still just a handful of competitors make far more sense than entering once every major tech company has already done so.