Wear OS by Google, previously called Android Wear, is its custom-made Android operating system for smartwatches and other wearables. It’s also compatible with Apple’s iOS and supports a slew of connectivity options and applications. Till now, Wear OS platform was being used by several leading wearable manufacturers. However, a new job listing from Google hints that the company could be taking matters in its own hands and could launch a Pixel Watch very soon.
The job listing for a Vice President of Hardware Engineering for Wearables was posted two days ago on the Google Careers site. As VP, the person would be working along the Senior Leadership team for Google Hardware.
The job description covers a portfolio of responsibilities including design, development, and shipment of all Google’s Wearable products. The new leader’s location would be primarily a large engineering organization in Mountain View, California. It goes further highlighting the role in developing multiple next-gen wearable products.
It’s plausible that the position would be up for leading the work on Pixel Buds. However, this is not the first time news on Google’s wearable products have entered the rumor mill. Since last year, the rumors of a Pixel-branded Wear OS watch had been looming from trusted sources on Twitter.
Besides the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and second-gen Pixel Buds, a reliable source tells me — with high confidence — that Google's fall hardware event will also introduce a Pixel-branded watch. Have a great summer!
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 10, 2018
There were even updates on the codenames viz. “Ling,” “Triton,” and “Sardine.” Winfuture, who was the source of this news had hinted at Qualcomm’s rumored Snapdragon Wear 3100 as the processor. The leak further added a new power management solution dubbed PMW3100 and a feature to activate Google Assistant even with the display off.
However, things saw a different turn when Google’s director of engineering for Wear OS, Miles Barr, explicitly negated plans to release a smartwatch that year. Instead, they were to “focus on improving Wear OS” while working together with other hardware manufacturers who are masters in their craft.
Google Fossil Deal
The Silicon Valley top shot could be working behind the scene and specializing the tech all this time. And if history repeats, we could expect something similar to what it did with the Pixel smartphone lineup. Back then it had struck a deal with HTC for the smartphone tech. This time, it is Fossil for the smartwatch and wearables. Google has plans to buy Fossil’s smartwatch IP for a whopping $40 million.
On this new partnership, Wear OS VP Stacey Burr said in a statement, “The addition of Fossil Group’s technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry by enabling a diverse portfolio of smartwatches and supporting the ever-evolving needs of the vitality-seeking, on-the-go consumer.”
Fossil confirmed the deal by releasing a statement, “Fossil Group has experienced significant success in its wearables business by focusing on product design and development informed by our strong understanding of consumers’ needs and style preferences. We’ve built an advanced technology that has the potential to improve upon our existing platform of smartwatches. Together with Google, our innovation partner, we’ll continue to unlock growth in wearables.”
To sum up, Google could be planning to take on the existing honchos like Apple and Samsung with this new venture.