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With an eye on Apple, Google is planning a smart watch, video game console based on Android

Google(s GOOG) is looking far beyond smartphones and tablets for its mobile operating system, Android: it is reportedly planning on building a whole slew of Android-based devices, including a smart watch and a video game console, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The motivation is two-fold, according to the Journal’ unnamed sources: to “cement the company’s reputation as a hardware maker” and to compete with Apple:(s AAPL)

With the watch and game console, Google is hoping to combat similar devices that Apple Inc. AAPL -1.08% may release in the future, according to the people familiar with the matter.

And that’s not all: Google is also said to be taking another crack at the doomed Nexus Q, a home media device that was scuttled almost as quickly as it was announced last year.

At least one of these is supposed to be announced some time this fall, but it wasn’t clear which one was on that schedule.

A recent meme in tech circles has been that Apple is “no longer innovating” and Google is the one with all the ideas. But Google is, at least according to this report, playing pre-emptive defense in categories it thinks Apple will enter.

So Google thinks Apple is bringing games to Apple TV — which is not a bad bet, considering the inclusion of game controller APIs in iOS 7, rumors of game controller cases for the iPhone, and the company’s continual expansion of content to Apple TV. And clearly it’s a good idea for Google as well: it has about as many apps and games in its Google Play store as Apple does in its own App Store.

Apple has never said anything public about a smart watch, but there’s been no shortage of speculation, or reports, that Apple is interested in getting into this business eventually. The smart watch category is pretty obvious for Google, and for any mobile company, really, since wearable tech is only going to grow as a device category.

What’s interesting is who will be first to these categories. Tim Cook already pretty much said no new product categories until 2014, so that does give Google a window of opportunity in the next few months.

4 Responses to “With an eye on Apple, Google is planning a smart watch, video game console based on Android”

  1. A video game typically use additional means of providing interactivity and information to the player. Audio is almost universal, using sound reproduction devices, such as speakers and headphones. Other feedback may come via haptic peripherals, such as vibration or force feedback, with vibration sometimes used to simulate force feedback. A video game

  2. fredhstein

    A bit of devil’s advocate:

    Is either SmartTV or SmartWatch an innovation? Does it matter who moves first? We can bet that Google will move first because they use the public beta approach. Apple likes stealth development and perfection.

    Maybe Apple won’t dazzle with products that no one anticipated any more? Maybe that is OK.

    One more: Maybe Apple will invest in super deep integrated silicon and material science to achieve cost and ruggedness way beyond we see today in consumer electronics.

  3. Lars Händler

    There are already very good Android PC devices available. I use one of them at home for office tasks and surfing. A few days ago I received my OUYA, an Android based console. This all works great with my Nexus 10 tablet and Nexus 4 smartphone. I think it would be a great idea if Google worked on a gaming console or even takes over OUYA.

  4. Luca Rini

    How is google doing this to combat apple? It doesnt make since with sonys smart watch 2 and all the android consoles on the market alerady.