Google takes consumers' wrists to next frontier with Android watch: Page 2 of 3

Google takes consumers' wrists to next frontier with Android watch

Motorola said it would share more details about its forthcoming Moto 360 smartwatch when it holds a special online press conference on Wednesday. Google recently announced plans to sell its Motorola business to Chinese PC-maker Lenovo Group Ltd.

Juniper Research expects more than 130 million smart wearable devices will ship by 2018. Moreover, global shipments of wearable "smart glasses" alone will reach 10 million each year by 2018, compared with an estimated 87,000 in 2013, according to the research firm.

Must have or nice to have?

Google, whose projects range from self-driving cars to robots, likely sees smartwatches as part of the future evolution of computing, said Raymond James analyst Aaron Kessler. But he said it remained to be seen whether smartwatches will become an indispensable digital accessory or a "nice-to-have" gadget.

"At this point I would still view it as a niche product," he said.

Among the more than 10 companies that are partnering with Google on Android watches are Samsung Electronics Co, HTC Corp, Asustek Computer Inc, Intel Corp, Qualcomm Inc, Broadcom Corp and Mediatek Inc.

Qualcomm and its manufacturing customers are working on "multiple" wearable devices based on its Snapdragon processors, spokesman Jon Carvill said. He declined to elaborate.

"We've barely scratched the surface of what's possible with mobile technology," Google said in a post on its official blog on Tuesday. "That's why we're so excited about wearables - they understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word."

Shares of Google closed 1.6 per cent higher at US$1,211.22 on Tuesday. Shares of Fossil Group rose 4.6 per cent to US$118.04.

Next>> Blogpost by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps

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