Google is preparing to launch its own smartwatch, according to a leaker with a strong track record.
Evan Blass has been proven right with some big predictions in the past, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10’s in-display fingerprint sensor. Now, he’s adding to rumors of Google’s expansion to wearables with a screenshot, posted to Twitter, indicated that he has been given access to an ‘interactive tutorial’ for a “Pixel Rohan” – the purported codename for Google’s first smartwatch. The image also featured a dropdown menu with an option that read, “Wear OS 3.1”, referring to Google’s operating system for wearable devices.
Blass posted the image with the caption, “Won’t be long now.”
The post comes after another well-known leaker, Jon Prosser, suggested that Google will reveal its smartwatch device on May 26. Prosser also displayed images of purported renders of the device indicating a minimalist design with a bezel-free, rounded watch face and one circular knob on its side, presumably for navigation.
Beyond the speculative material from reputed leakers, very little is known about Google’s smartwatch. But it is expected to feature a number of health tracking capabilities, such as a heart-rate sensor, and the competitive landscape would certainly suggest a strong imperative for building those into the device. Apple has worked to incorporate sophisticated health-tracking features into its own Apple Watch line over the years, and is reportedly developing a body temperature sensor for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8.
Moving deeper into speculative territory, Google’s engineering leadership may also feel compelled to integrate mobile ID functionality into the device. Virtual ID cards are a growing trend, with Apple pioneering the space through its Apple Wallet app. The tech giant officially deployed its first mobile driver’s licenses in Arizona last month, and raised a few eyebrows by enabling users to verify their virtual IDs at the Sky Harbor International Airport using a paired smartwatch, rather than just through the iPhone.
Of course, for now Google is keeping tight-lipped, and it seems that there may not be validation of these rumors until the end of May (or later). But with a leaked carrier database having listed “rohan” among its inventory, it’s getting harder to believe that Google doesn’t have a smartwatch in the works.