Eager to get Google (s goog) on your wrist? After roughly a month of bubbling rumors, the Wall Street Journal reports that the tech giant is in the late stages of developing its smartwatch, and is slated to begin mass production soon.
The article provides scant detail of the watch’s functionality — just reiterating some long-term rumors that the Android-powered device will be closely integrated with Google Now to communicate with smartphones. It does, however, explain a bit about Google’s goals in developing the product: creating a useful device that doesn’t suck battery life. That latter issue has apparently been at the forefront of production, and the biggest hurdle in bringing the product to shelves.
Of course, there is also mild flirtation of the product’s possibilities with Google Glass. It’s likely that a smartwatch would be easily synced to the heads-up display in the Glass — a key advantage that could separate the device from its immediate competition, namely the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The possibility of a synergy between Glass and watch may also serve as a way for average consumers to get into Google wearables with the watch and then graduate into Glass.
But the watch’s success isn’t assured, especially Google may have another contender lurking in the shadows — the article did make mention of a possible Apple (s aapl) smartwatch coming down the pike.
One thing is for sure: if the Google smartwatch is headed onto shelves within the next few months, I know what my colleague Kevin Tofel will be getting for the holidays.