Google will develop Wear OS and suggest features to make smartwatches more appealing.
A few months ago, it was speculated that Google will venture into the smartwatch space by launching a slew of Pixel branded smartwatches. It was even expected that we could be seeing one of the watches unveiled alongside the Pixel 3 series later in October. However, brace yourselves as Google isn’t planning any Pixel branded smartwatches anytime in the near future.
In an interview to Tom’s Guide, Miles Barr, Google's director of engineering for Wear OS, has confirmed that the company isn’t planning to unveil smartwatches this year. In fact, Google will keep a distance from smartwatch manufacturing for a while.
However, the reason for that isn’t related to manufacturing capabilities. “To think of a one-size-fits-all watch, I don’t think we’re there yet,” Barr said. “Our focus is on our partners for now.”
Basically, Google is presently focusing on improving the core Wear OS experience, where they will be working with their partner manufacturers to bring features that are preferred by consumers in this space. The company will keep on suggesting new design concepts and features to manufacturers, which could implement to offer an experience which Google would approve of for Wear OS devices. That’s how several manufacturers ended up embedding essential features such as heart rate sensor and NFC in their latest offerings.
Presently, Google thinks that the smartwatch market is broadly divided between fitness freaks and those who are style conscious. According to Barr, Google thinks there isn’t a smartwatch right now that can be a perfect balance between the two preferences. In fact, Google itself can’t think of a wearable that can suit both fitness freaks and the style conscious.
However, when asked if Google had to dream of a perfect Pixel smartwatch, Barr said they would follow the Pixel smartphone lineup’s philosophy of embedding Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into the device for a smarter experience. Sadly, such a product isn’t being formulated in the near future.