(Phys.org) —Should the smartwatch successfully kick off a wearables trend in the consumer marketplace, then big computer vendors will clamor for a piece of the action. Google, according to a resurgence in smartwatch rumors this week, is not about to stand around and wait. According to the new batch of rumors, Google already is putting the final touches on its own smartwatch, codenamed Gem, to be launched in just weeks. And there's more rumor talk: Google is focusing on longer battery life, and is targeting its debut to coincide with the launch of Android 4.4 (KitKat) at the end of the month.
Google has yet to say anything official about an upcoming smartwatch but that has not stopped all the talk. Phandroid, one of the sites discussing the Google smartwatch rumor this week, referred to an anonymous tipster saying Google was heavily focusing for the watch on battery life and Bluetooth 4.0.
9to5Google discussed the rumors of a Google Watch "happening soon" and suggested illustrations of what the watch might look like, showing a circular design as well as an alternate square design. The watch is expected to run the operating system Android.
The rumors are plausible when considering that Google had earlier on not only filed for a smartwatch patent but also bought a smartwatch company WIMM Labs, gaining expertise on that end.
Also, Google has made technology advancements in the form of Google Now notifications and alerts; expectations are that the new smartwatch, if it does debut, may carry Google Now functionality.
A smartwatch empowered with utilities in Google Now could turn out to be not just a wearable phone but a handy wearable digital assistant. The smartwatch would leverage Google Now technology; and would suit consumers who otherwise would be reluctant to walk around with a display above the eye, preferring a device worn instead on the wrist.
As the rumors swirl, there are the obvious questions about what Google will choose as the name for the smartwatch and of course the price. Another key question being posed is just how the smartwatch will be positioned. If fed with notifications and alerts via Google Now, will the smartwatch be designed and marketed as a primary companion to the Nexus phone? Will it be designed and marketed as a standalone device? If a rumored date of October 31 is correct, the watch might coincide with the release of KitKat (Android 4.4) and possibly the release of Nexus 5.
While the positioning of the smartwatch is not yet clear, a trail of hints that this day is coming sooner or later goes back to earlier this year rather than just this month. The Financial Times reported back in March that Google's smartwatch was being developed by its Android unit according to a person briefed on the project, to act as an extension to phones using that OS.
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More information: 9to5google.com/2013/10/14/goog… e-now-functionality/