One more Google I/O rumor: A new smartwatch?

Does it make any sense for Google to unveil a new piece of wearable tech this week? Does it have to make sense?

Could Google be looking to wrest your wrist away from Pebble and others this week? CNET

Every time one of the tech giants holds its developers conference, the blogs tend to cycle through all the rumors we've heard associated with a company, like say Google, in the immediate lead-up to an event, like say Google I/O .

In the past few weeks we've been hearing about new Nexus tablets, super smartphones and of course, some major software updates. But now that it's down to the wire, it's time to get crazy. Time to dust off that Google smartwatch rumor we first heard in March and throw it against the side of the Moscone Center to see if it's still sticking around by the end of the week.

That's the word Monday morning from "sources close to Google" who told Android Authority that a Google smartwatch has been shown off in Google offices in Mountain View, Calif., and Europe and is "set for release sometime soon."

The sources apparently did not specifically say that the watch would be unveiled this week, but if such a new product is truly set to be released "soon" it would make sense to at least acknowledge its existence before the entire world at I/O.

As you can probably tell from my intro here, I'm skeptical of this rumor, but the fact that a Google smartwatch could complement other expected updates to things like Google Now and Maps make the notion compelling enough to repeat. The source cited above says that a Google watch would not be independent, however, and would rely on being tethered to a smartphone for connectivity. It sure would make for an interesting demo to debut a crisp new Maps interface or an updated Google Now personal assistant by showing how it might work through a wearable device like a watch.

There's just one enormous elephant in the room. Why just toss out a new wearable device when Google has spent a year rolling out a more advanced piece of wearable tech in the form of Glass?

Well, Google does have a history of doing just that sort of thing. This is a company that purchased Motorola, but still continues to put out its flagship phones with other smartphone manufacturers, after all.

So it's at least feasible that this smartwatch thing could be real. But if history is any guide, it's not likely to be an earth-shattering development like Glass. Instead, unveiling a smart watch this summer could wind up being more like the second coming of the all-but-forgotten Nexus Q .

 

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