Wearables Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Pixel Watch Official

After literally years of rumors, the Pixel Watch was announced at Google I/O. And thanks to the rumors, the hardware itself was as expected: a bevel-less domed round design. The watch will run Wear OS 3, of course, but little of the hardware specifics were revealed. What was highlighted, however, was a deep integration with Fitbit for health and fitness-tracking features, something that was always lacking somewhat on previous iterations of Wear. As a result, expect far better heart rate tracking, sleep tracking and other key features such as a Fitbit app that lets users collect “active zone minutes”. These key OS features will also be available to Samsung and other Wear OS OEMs, so we will not see a software-driven differentiator for the Pixel Watch by all accounts.

The NPD Take:

  • The Pixel Watch is expected to launch in the fall, to coincide with the launch of the Pixel 7 phone. In the meantime, expect a steady drip of additional information to roll out from Google regarding the hardware and all-important price. We expect when the watch does launch there will be a strong bundled offer for customers interested in a full Pixel solution.
  • With the limited information released, it is, as yet, unclear if there will be a cellular version of the watch. We hope so as this is becoming a key area of interest among the consumer base.
  • Samsung has already announced that it will be benefiting from the new Wear OS features, such as Health Connect.

AR Advances

Google did more than announce the Watch. In addition, the company teased a new set of augmented reality glassed, sharing a short video clip. The video showed real-time transcription of a conversation, allowing a non-English speaker to participate in an English conversation. The glasses look very different from Google’s first attempt – Google Glass – but do feel somewhat familiar to the glasses that North was selling prior to Google’s acquisition of the company in 2020.

The NPD Take:

  • AR has a long way to go before it hits the mainstream. But it is clearly a key area of innovation that no self-respecting Big Tech company wants to miss out on. Apple is rumored to be working on AR glasses while Meta is already deep into the space. Indeed, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg provided a more detail of what the Meta AR glasses (codenamed Project Cambria) can do this week too. All in all, this could be a year for some significant innovations in the space.
Report Sections