Google watch being developed to compete with Apple iWatch: report

The race to develop wearable computers intensifies

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Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

The great smartwatch race is on, as a new report says that Google is developing its own watch to compete with the rumoured Apple iWatch.

This latest report about the next big thing in wearable technology comes from a Financial Times blog, which says rumours about a Google watch in the works are circulating through Silicon Valley. Tim Bradshaw writes: “A Google patent application for a wearable computer filed in 2011 and approved last year lends credence to the rumours. The filing describes a “smart watch” with a dual-screened “flip-up display”, “tactile user interface” and onboard camera.”

If it’s true, this watch would compete with the still-rumoured Apple iWatch and a smart watch that Samsung says it is developing. Nike also has its FuelBand, a watch-like device that tracks total daily activity and calorie expenditure.

Though, there are some who doubt that users even want a Google watch, or any other kind of smartwatch, in the first place. Technology blogger Peter Nowak called the iWatch rumours “a really bad idea” when they began circulating in February. Would anyone even want such a device, he asked:

“Everyone seems to be forgetting one simple fact: Does anyone want to do any of that stuff on a postage-stamp-sized screen that sits on their wrist? And does anyone remember that actually wearing a watch isn’t all that comfortable? And while we’re at it, mightn’t we also remember that all of these functions are already performed quite ably by our smartphones, which have acres of screen size in comparison? And aren’t people already complaining about all the gadgets they have to carry?”

Of course, Nowak’s post came before Google announced Google Glass, so he didn’t take into account the fact that users could, potentially, co-ordinate their Google Glass with their Google watch, becoming a modern-day Maxwell Smart.

Now, if only someone would develop a shoe phone. Oh, wait, it appears Google is already on that, too.