The Wall Street Journal has weighed in on recent rumors of a Google smartwatch.
According to the paper’s unnamed sources, the watch is “in late-stage development,” and Google is talking with suppliers in Asia about mass production:
The new device, which will run on Android, will be integrated with Google Now, the company’s intelligent personal assistant that can answer questions, make recommendations and predict what information users need based on what they are doing, a person familiar with the situation said. Google has also been working to reduce power consumption on the smartwatch so it won’t require frequent battery charges, the person said.
A similar story came up earlier this month, when 9to5Google reported that the watch was “happening soon.” Google also acquired WIMM during the summer of 2012, showing that the company is at least interested in building its own watch.
Google Now is a natural fit for a smartwatch, as it can tell you things like when to leave for your next appointment, how much traffic to expect on the drive home and what the weather will be like during the day. Having that information pop up on your wrist means you don’t have to go digging for it on your phone. Although Google’s been experimenting with the same idea on high-tech glasses, dubbed Google Glass, a watch would be less intrusive and would avoid Glass’ camera privacy concerns.
If the Journal’s report is accurate, Google could possibly announce a smartwatch at the same time as its Nexus 5 smartphone and Android 4.4 KitKat, which should be officially revealed soon. But with mass production not yet underway, it’d likely be several months before the product became available.