Published October 22, 2015
Google Glass isn’t even on the market yet, but the search engine giant may already be planning its next major wearable tech release.
A new tip suggests that Google will announce a smartwatch called Gem to coincide with the release of Android 4.4 Kit Kat later this month.
The watch is said to be part of the Nexus brand and will reportedly be announced on Oct. 31, according to Android Police co-founder Artem Russakovski. The disclaimer on his Google+ page says that the information hasn’t been confirmed, but he also wrote that he feels “relatively confident” about this rumor.
Although Google hasn’t made any announcements just yet, the company published a smartwatch patent a few months ago detailing a watch with a user interface similar to Glass. For instance, the watch described in the filing would feature two touchpads on its wristband that can understand gestures such as pinching or stretching, just like Glass’ single pad. An earlier patent from 2012 depicts a smartwatch with a flip-up display, but as of now its still unclear if either device will come to market.
Google is also expected to announce its next flagship smartphone, the Nexus 5, in tandem with Android 4.4 Kit Kat. The Nexus 4 successor is rumored to come with a roaring Snapdragon 800 processor, a 5.2-inch display and an improved camera that could implement Nikon’s technology.
Google is just one of several major tech brands rumored to dive into the smartwatch space within the next year. The Gem joins the likes of Apple’s long-fabled iWatch and Microsoft and LG’s rumored wrist-worn gadgets. Samsung just launched its Galaxy Gear smartwatch that is designed to work with its Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014), which means it can forward notifications, run apps, answer and make phone calls among other smartphone capabilities. A recent study from NextMarket reported that more than 373 million smartwatches will ship by 2020 compared to the 15 million projected for 2014, suggesting that wearable tech could become a major part of the mobile market soon enough.