There’s a new Nexus device apparently heading to market, possibly as soon as the end of this month. It’s not a smartphone. Nor is it a tablet or a strange, canceled, media transmitting device. Its codename is “Gem” and it’s a smartwatch.
The rumors about Google’s plans come from information that reached AndroidPolice.com’s Artem Russakovskii, who says that while it’s definitely not concrete information, he has a “good level of confidence” in the news.
The timing of the launch, October 31, may coincide with the upcoming release of the next generation of Android, version 4.4 KitKat, and could come alongside the rumored Nexus 5 handset. That makes the Gem sound a lot like Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which was revealed alongside the Galaxy Note 3 phablet recently. But the thinking is that any Google-sanctioned Android watch would be compatible with many more phones running Android than Samsung has decided to support (just one for now). Pricing is thought to be less than the Gear’s $300.
It’s a compelling rumor, and one that aligns nicely with Google’s push into wearable tech with the Glass headset. It’s also easy to theorize that Google’s Now digital assistant system would fit very nicely on a watch display, perhaps buzzing on your wrist and alerting you to traffic issues or inclement weather before you set off for work. The timing would place it ahead of any release of the rumored iWatch, unless Apple has really managed to keep something secret. But to succeed where the Gear seems to have failed, the Gem would have to be very cheap and have a very long battery life.