In the same week that Samsung announced it is developing a smartwatch to compete with Apple's mythical iWatch, reports surface claiming Google and now LG are also about to enter the market.
LG GD910 3G Touch Watch Phone. Photo: AFP
The report, published Friday in the Korea Times, quotes a source who claims to be familiar
with the matter. "It is one major part of many currently non-commercialized products under development by LG Electronics," said the source. "The company has spared no efforts to invest in products that it believes are must-haves to stay ahead technology wise in the market, whatever the situation maybe."
However, despite his or her inside knowledge, the source couldn't verify whether the watch would run on the Android operating system or would use Firefox OS.
Like Samsung, LG has a history when it comes to smartwatches. Its GD910, launched in 2009, was a well-executed if ultimately unpopular watchphone with a full touch screen and 3G internet connection, and it looked surprisingly elegant.
Earlier this week the Financial Times ran a story claiming that Google is currently developing an Android-based smartwatch and rumors have been swirling for most of 2013 that Apple's next era-defining product will also be a smartwatch which is already being dubbed the iWatch.
However, what these companies have not considered, it would seem, is why someone would want a smartwatch, especially if it is not a device in its own right and would need to be paired with a smartphone or tablet in order to work.
As Cyrus Sanati quite elegantly puts it in a piece in Fortune this week: "There is little utility in wearing a clunky 'watch' whose main purpose is to deliver messages that you can see by reaching in your pocket and looking at your phone. Trying to do anything remotely useful on the watch, like, say, sending a text message, is pretty much impossible, or at the very least, really annoying if done through text-to-speech software. Controlling your music remotely seems handy, but you can already do that with any decent pair of headphones these days. Squinting and fumbling with a screen that is at its maximum two inches by two inches is both limiting and distracting. Imagine having to remember to juice up your watch in addition to your phone, tablet and laptop. It all seems so unnecessary."
Indeed the only area where ‘smart' watches appear to be making headway is in the sports and fitness arena where they gather data based on movement and the wearer's vital signs. Samsung has made it clear that it is redoubling its focus on healthcare and fitness but Apple's existing relationship with Nike and its Fuelband products might prohibit it from following a similar path to market.