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March 12, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:11am

Google Nexus smartwatch – 5 features you need to know about

Motorola patent application reveals key details about Google's next wearable device.

By Ben Sullivan

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently published a Motorola patent application that appears to present the idea of a Google Nexus smartwatch.

Filed under a wearable device, the images from the patent obviously show Google and Motorola are talking specifically about a new smartwatch, and although specific details and full specs are not yet known, the patent does give away some key features of the device.



Telephone keypad built into the strap

The Google Nexus smartwatch could feature a built-in telephone keypad on the watch’s strap. The patent says the watch could "provide a telephone keypad, for example, that is disposed along the strap of a wearable device, and that uses no electronics whatsoever. Since the strap is constantly flexing, the lack of electronic parts afforded by embodiments of the present invention is highly beneficial and results in enhanced reliability, usability, improved style, and more aesthetically pleasing form factors."

Buttons to launch functions on strap

Integrated touch buttons could also appear on the strap, whereby they can be used to launch different apps. Specifically, a user would ‘pinch’ the strap to operate these buttons.

"When the pliant material of the strap is stretch, such as when the strap is stretched tightly about a user’s wrist, this can be used to launch applications…"

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Health monitoring and health apps

The patent says that the watch could be used to "monitor health conditions." If so, we assume health monitoring tech like heart rate sensors and perhaps even temperature sensors would be built into the strap, and act much like Samsung’s smartwatch in conjunction with health and fitness apps. "In one or more embodiments, these applications require the electronic device to have good contact with a user’s skin."


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Release date

A number of rumours suggest the smartwatch could launch at the Google I/O developers conference in June 2014.

Operating system

The Google Nexus smartwatch may feature an optimised version of Android 4.4 KitKat, modified for wearable technology. However, as it could be launched at the I/O conference, the Nexus smartwatch may even run on Android 5, Android’s proposed new operating system that could also feature on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 8.

The Google Now format and information cards will likely play a large role in the smartwatches functionality, as they lend themselves well to a digital personal assistant’s role.


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