It looks like Samsung will again team up with Google for yet another device. CNET reports that Samsung is planning to launch a smartwatch, similar to their already existing Galaxy Gear, which will instead run the new Android Wear, a modified version of the Android operating system tailored for smartwatches and other wearable tech. The device is expected to be announced, alongside smartwatches from LG and Motorola that also run Android Wear, at the Google I/O Developer conference on Wednesday. Sources say that there are actually two devices, one using Samsung’s own processor chips, and another running off of a Qualcomm processor. Samsung has used its own OS, Tizen, for its recent Gear 2 and other smartwatch devices, and this would signify a major shift for both Samsung and Google.
Samsung had previously used a tuned version of Android for its original Gear device, continuing the long relationship between the two companies that began with Samsung’s Galaxy phones. But Samsung executives were quoted saying that Android was “too heavy” for their wearable devices, as it drained the battery too quickly, and the company switched to Tizen for its next smartwatches. Perhaps this is part of the reason Google started building a version of Android that it is optimized to run on wearable devices, announcing Android Wear in March.
Samsung needs all the help it can get these days, as more and more rumors of industry rival Apple’s “iWatch”, their own smartwatch device, have popped up and been received with much anticipation. This is part of an industry wide shift to wearable technology, as analysts see them as the next big step in technology. Starting with Google Glass and Samsungs own original Galaxy Gear, we have heard announcements and rumors of products from LG, Asus, HTC, Motorola, and even the famed watchmakers at the Fossil Group, not including Apple and Samsung.
Seems like we will have to wait until Wednesday to find out more.