We already know that Google is shopping around for OEM partners to build a smartwatch – TechnoBuffalo has learned that LG is one of the companies who has been tapped to build the device, and other reports have suggested HTC may be in on it as well. However, we’ve also learned another nugget of news: Google is preparing to announce its own smartwatch operating system for all OEMs, and for developers to use to build smartwatch apps, in the coming months. We’re hearing that the announcement will come in the March to May timeframe, but definitely ahead of Google I/O in June.
The smartwatch OS is probably based on Android, since we know it’s going to have a heavy tie-in with Google Now, though it may be a watered-down version of the mobile OS. After all, Google probably wouldn’t need to announce its own OS if it was just another version of Android. Always-on functionality will likely be included on all Google Now watches, and an industry source confirmed that LG is working to add this into its device, which is already very far along in development and will make its official debut during Google I/O in June.
We don’t know if Google’s going to hold a large press or developer event for its smartwatch OS announcement, though we suspect it will make a fairly big deal out of the release. It should allow all OEMs to jump on board and create new smartwatches, in addition to the ones that already have access to the software and are developing devices at this time.