Another puzzle piece surfaces revealing that the Google Pixel Watch is real

Another puzzle piece surfaces revealing that the Google Pixel Watch is real
The rumors all suggest that it will happen this year, and it even has a rumored fishy code name of "Medaka." We are talking about the Google Pixel Watch, which was conspicuous by its absence last year. But Google has quietly been getting its ducks in a row and making preparations that would suggest that it will indeed offer its own smartwatch this year. The first sign that something is brewing at Mountain View came in January. That was when Google announced the $40 million purchase of what it called "innovative" and "new to the market" smartwatch technology from watchmaker Fossil.

During the same month, Google parent Alphabet received FDA approval for the electrocardiogram (ECG) feature on its Verily Study Watch. This is a timepiece available by prescription to health care pros and those with a known heart issue. Considering that Verily is a research organization owned by Google's parent, we could see an ECG monitor become a native feature on Wear OS, and possibly a feature of the Google Pixel Watch. The Apple Watch series 4 comes with an ECG monitor to look for abnormal heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation (AFib); this is a serious condition that can lead to strokes, blood clots, and death. It is the breakout feature of Apple's most recent smartwatch model.

Yesterday, another big piece of the Pixel Watch puzzle surfaced when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a patent it awarded to Google. Spotted by Patently Apple, the patent covers a clasp that is designed to allow users to quickly change the band on their watch. This mechanism would allow a Google Pixel Watch to rival the Apple Watch when it comes to quick band changes. The patent illustrations show the use of a magnet in one mechanism, while another uses a button that releases the clasp from the timepiece.

The patent was originally filed by Google during the second quarter of 2017. And while Google I/O is running from May 7th through May 9th, we wouldn't expect to see a Pixel Watch unveiled by Google until October. That is when the company traditionally introduces the latest high-end Pixel handsets (which will be the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL this year) and any new hardware that it has to offer-like a smartwatch perhaps.

A Googe Pixel Watch will have to be first to receive new Wear OS updates


Without a smartwatch of its own, Google has watched as Apple has turned the Apple Watch into the most popular smartwatch and wearable in the world. And with Apple planning to add new health features to the device, a Pixel Watch will have a tough battle ahead of it. In order for Google to be competitive with Apple in a category that the latter now controls, it will need to take advantage of a feature where Google is considered well ahead of Apple. That would be Google Assistant. The virtual digital helper has been anointed by many as the best in its class and ahead of Siri. Since Google Assistant is already available on Wear OS, Google's operating system for wearable devices, it would behoove the company to come up with some special capabilities for Assistant on the Pixel Watch.

The Pixel smartphone brand is reportedly the fastest growing in the U.S. and is known for fast updates and excellent cameras. Google will have to make sure that a Pixel Watch gets the first crack at Wear OS updates and new builds. Google might also want to use the watch to add to the Google ecosystem that now includes its popular Google Home line of smart speakers and smart displays.

Based on the illustrations that Google included with the filing, it would appear that the odds favor a round display for the Google Pixel Watch.

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9 Comments

1. fakenewzz

Posts: 123; Member since: Nov 15, 2018

Awesome stuff I would love to jump ship from apple back to google. Only reason I use iPhone is so I can use the Apple Watch. I suffer with afib so watch ekg feature is awesome for me. I just do not like being locked into apple ecosystem. I miss android.

2. Heisenberg

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

If ekg is must have feature on a smartwatch for you then dont expect to see it on a pixel watch. Its more likely to be on the galaxy watch 2

3. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The Withings Move ECG also has ECG So I wouldn't rule out ECG becoming more common soon

4. TBomb

Posts: 1205; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

That's scary. Good luck with your condition. Would the ekg feature not work if you had an android phone paired to it?

5. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1526; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Apple watch doesn't work with Android phone.

7. Feanor

Posts: 1327; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Your "that's scary" comment is so childish; Afib is a very common heart condition, very well known, that suddenly sounds like a new discovery, because tech sites report about it in reference to the Apple Watch. The rumour mill will soon inflict to the weak minded the hilarious and totally unscientific notion that only with an Apple Watch you can find out if you're suffering from Afib and that the non-Apple Watch users' lives are at stake.

9. TBomb

Posts: 1205; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I know you have your own opinion and experience (comment #8) but I wouldn't say it's "childish" for me to be concerned about an irregular heartbeat of a fellow Earth citizen. It was great marketing by Apple - I'll agree it was definitely a publicity feature and the only reason one would want to upgrade, but still, afib is more serious than your common cold so calling my concern childish is pretty rough.

8. Feanor

Posts: 1327; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

My mum suffers from the same and I think a have some insight. Isn't it actually worse to have constant access to ECG readings? I think this could lead many Afib patients to paranoia, feeling the urge to check their heart function in the same compulsive way that we pick our phones out of our pockets all the time to check for messages. If I had the condition (it's actually hereditary, I may have it soon), I'd rely on a doctor rather than a smartwatch ( ultimately the clearance that the Apple Watch has obtained is same as over the counter medication like vitamins that there is no scientific evidence that do anything).

6. Skizzo

Posts: 403; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

I don't like the idea of proprietary watch band clasps. It's nice that they can be swapped out easily, but let us do it with any 3rd party watch band of appropriate size, not ones specifically designed for the Pixel watch.

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