Smartwatches may not be faring well, but that’s not a deterrent for Google as it has just confirmed that the company will be launching two own-branded smartwatches next year.
The two watches won’t be manufactured by Google directly, but instead it will be manufactured by some other company under its guidance. The revelation came during an interview that Android Wear’s product manager Jeff Chang gave to The Verge. Chang confirmed that both the watches will be running Android Wear 2.0. Chang declined to name the manufacturing partner for the smartwatches.
Android Wear 2.0 is yet to be released to the public. The search giant plans to release a fifth and final developer preview of the OS next January. This version, will reportedly, bring support for two core features, Android Pay and Google Assistant.
Chang also confirmed that the new OS will be available as an update for all eligible smartwatches including: Moto 360 Gen 2, Moto 360 Sport, LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R; Polar M600, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Nixon Mission, Tag Heuer Connected, Fossil Q Wander, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Founder, Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch, Michael Kors Access Dylan Smartwatch, Huawei Watch, Huawei Watch Ladies, Asus ZenWatch 2 and Asus ZenWatch 3.
The good news is that after the launch of two flagship smartwatches, other companies will release new devices with Android Wear 2.0 throughout the entire year.
Chang told The Verge that Google remains “quite optimistic” about the future of smartwatches. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. “This category of product is here with us to stay.”
Throughout the year a number of manufacturers chose to launch fewer devices, and with Motorola saying that they won’t be coming with anymore smartwatches, it was enough to highlight the current status of wearables. However, Chang’s optimistic comments should give a boost to the Android smartwatch market.