New job postings suggest Google might be building its own wearables
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Google has the Android-based Wear OS for smartwatches, but it looks like the Mountain View-giant is looking to take things up a notch further. A couple of job listings were found (now taken down) on Google Careers for the post of a VP Hardware Engineering for Wearables and a Wearables Design Manager. The job description for the VP Hardware Engineering for Wearables reads,
As the VP of Hardware Engineering for Wearables, you'll work collaboratively with the Senior Leadership team for Google Hardware and will be responsible for the design, development, and shipment of all Google's Wearable products. You will lead and enable the effectiveness of a large engineering organization primarily based in Mountain View to develop multiple next-generation wearable products simultaneously."
It may be recalled that Google recently acquired some of Fossil's smartwatch tech for US$40 million. It wasn't clear back then whether Google was planning to develop their own smartwatch tech. The Pixel Buds are the only wearables from Google so this could be an opportune moment for the company to invest in some next generation smartwatch or fitness hardware.
A major problem is in the wearables market is the absence of a viable alternative to Samsung's and Apple's smartwatch SoCs, which have helped in good adoption of their respective devices. Sure, we do have the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 but little has changed since the first Snapdragon 400 or even the previous Snapdragon Wear 2100. Apart from a few battery life improvements, the SoC has been relatively unchanged from 2013 and is still based on the now archaic 28 nm process. Google will have to arrange for alternative SoC suppliers if it is indeed serious about making inroads into the wearables market.