LG Introduces New Smartwatch to the World: Hello, G Watch
LG (NYSE:LPL) has introduced its smartwatch to the world in a video and a website. The LG G Watch is an Android (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) Wear device coming out later this year. As a marketing introduction, LG has uploaded a video to YouTube showing off the features of the metallic smartwatch; this video is also at the top of its website for the device.
Like many of the smartwatches that major smartphone manufacturers are working on, it features a touchscreen on its face. The device is designed to work in sync with an LG smartphone, providing notifications from a phone on its screen. It also includes music and other functionality for the user. The device does tell you the time like a traditional watch, so users won’t lose the functionality of wearing a wristwatch.
Android Wear was announced about two months ago as an extension of the Android platform into wearable devices. The product is open to the various developers who would apply the technology to their company’s devices. Android announced the Android Wear platform in a post on its developers blog in March. The post also provided a link so that developers could sign up for a preview of the technology. The preview granted them access to API, sample code, and previews of what their apps will look like on Android Wear, provided they agreed to a license agreement.
Samsung (SSNLF.PK), LG, HTC, Motorola and others all use the Android platform for smartphones and tablets, so extending it to smartwatches and other devices would be a natural transition for these companies. This LG smartwatch is among the first previews of what such devices will look like in the near future.
The G Watch is expected to launch later this year. Some speculate it will come out as early as this quarter. 9to5Google suggests that it will launch in June in France for a price of 199 euros, or about $276. The publication also speculates that the G Watch will retail in the United States for $199 based on this possible European price.
While intriguing, the G Watch is not the first Android smartwatch. The Samsung Galaxy Gear is currently on the market. That smartwatch was not well received in the United States due to it working with few apps and having poor battery life, Ars Technica reported in October. Since then, Samsung has worked on improving the device to make it more appealing to consumers.
Various other smartwatches are also in development, including non-Android devices by both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), with its much-rumored iWatch, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), with its Surface and Xbox teams involved in the development of its smartwatch. Which device will end up defining the market is still unclear. It is also unclear if customers are more interested in smartwatches now than they were six months ago.