- Stephen Lam/Getty Images
- It looks like Google may be planning to build its own Pixel smartwatch to take on the Apple Watch after all.
- According to multiple jobs listings posted this week, Google is bulking up its wearables staff, including a Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Wearables.
- The new wearables exec will “be responsible for the design, development, and shipment of all Google’s Wearable products” and “develop multiple next-generation wearable products simultaneously.”
- Google officials have previously disputed the notion that a Pixel Watch was in the works. However, Google recently acquired some key smartwatch technology from Fossil, hinting that attitudes may have changed.
It looks like Google may be planning to build its own Pixel smartwatch after all.
According to multiple jobs listings posted this week – first spotted by Android Police – Google is bulking up its wearables staff, which could signal that the company is getting serious about building its own Pixel Watch, a long-rumored competitor to the Apple Watch.
Most notably, the company is seeking a Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Wearables to “be responsible for the design, development, and shipment of all Google’s Wearable products” and “develop multiple next-generation wearable products simultaneously.”
Google also has an open posting for a Wearables Design Manager.
The search giant has partnered with multiple brands – like LG, Tag Heuer, and Movado – to provide the WearOS software that helps power third-party smartwatches. Watches powered by WearOS are compatible with both iPhone and Android, but have much more features when paired with an Android phone.
As of today, Google’s only wearable product is the Pixel Buds, a pair of wireless earbuds.
Last May, rumors surrounded the Pixel family of products and some, like gadget tipster Evan Blass, said that a Pixel Watch was coming.
Besides the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and second-gen Pixel Buds, a reliable source tells me — with high confidence — that Google's fall hardware event will also introduce a Pixel-branded watch. Have a great summer!
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 10, 2018
By late August, however, those rumors were disputed by Google’s director of engineering for WearOS, Mike Barr, who told product review site Tom’s Guide that “to think of a one-size-fits-all watch, I don’t think we’re there yet. Our focus is on our partners for now.”
Google did show signs early this year that its focus on partnerships may be shifting. In January, it announced a $40 million deal to purchase smartwatch technology from the fashion brand Fossil. As part of the deal, Google also acquired the part of Fossil’s R&D team that supported the tech in question.
At the time of the acquisition, Fossil exec Greg McKelvey hinted that the deal with Google will result in a “new product innovation that’s not yet hit the market.”
A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
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