Google is working on a wearable to challenge the Apple Watch, according to a report from Insider, picked up on by The Verge. It could launch as soon as next year. I suspect that such a device, long-awaited by many, will prove popular, but doubt it can displace the Apple Watch.
The watch (codenamed “Rohan”) is being worked on by Google’s Pixel hardware group separately from Fitbit, which Google bought for $2.1 billion earlier this year. According to Insider’s report, the new upcoming Google watch — it’s not clear whether Google will actually be calling it a “Pixel Watch” yet — will serve much the same role as the Pixel phones do for Android: an example for both consumers and hardware partners of what Google’s software is truly capable of when given the right hardware. The device is expected to cost more than a Fitbit and compete more directly with the Apple Watch, according to The Verge’s source.The watch will have basic fitness tracking features, including step counting and a heart rate monitor, with Google also reportedly working on debuting a Fitbit integration into Wear OS (codenamed “Nightlight”) with the new watch when it launches.