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Google partners with LG for smartwatch

Google looks set to reveal details about the wearable device in March, including a 'smartwatch-centric' OS.

Google is set to unveil its smartwatch plans in March, according to sources close to the project.

(Credit: Google)

The company is expected to reveal initial details of a smartwatch-centric operating system, with the device itself arriving at Google's I/O conference in June.

Hardware-wise, Google is likely to use a Nexus-style arrangement, keeping its hands firmly on the reins while the hardware partner takes a low profile in terms of branding. LG looks set to be the first such partner, following on from the pair's success with the Nexus 4 and 5 smartphones.

The operating system at the core of the device will be the Google Now voice and search assistant, already the driving force behind Google Glass.

Google's anticipated smartwatch will join the range of products being sold directly from the Google Play store, including its Nexus phones and a number of other top-end smartphones offering a pure Android experience and labelled as "Google Play Edition" devices.

Despite being the wearable device du jour, smartwatch sales haven't exactly made anyone's fortune yet, although analyst firm Juniper is still tipping the wearable market to be worth US$19 billion by 2018.

Manufacturers certainly don't seem to be backing down, with Samsung revealing its new range of Android-less Gear smartwatches — the Gear 2 and Gear Neo — earlier at this year's MWC.

With Google's smartwatch ranking just below the purported iWatch from Apple in terms of consumer expectations, it will be interesting to see what the company can produce with LG.