Google’s Upcoming Android Wear 2.0 Watches Feature Apple Watch-Like Digital Crown
We’ve known about LG and the company’s plans to try and find a space within the smartwatch market, but additional details about those products have started to filter into the public domain.
It seems that the company, which is manufacturing the smartwatch hardware on behalf of Google, has taken its own direction when it comes to the overarching design of the smartwatch hardware, but has also taken more than a little inspiration from Apple’s Digital Crown by integrating a rotating hardware button which is speculated to function in much the same way as on the Apple Watch.
The additional information about the new LG/Google Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches has once again been brought to the world’s attention by prolific technology leaker Evan Blass, adding that he believes the devices will launch at the same time as Android Wear 2.0 on February 9th.
If earlier rumors are taken into account, it looks as though the devices won’t be Pixel branded, but will be a Nexus-style collaboration with LG, with the watches being released to market under the “LG Watch Style” and “LG watch Sport” naming conventions. That’s all well and good, but it’s really this potential Digital Crown iteration that will garner the most attention, which is particularly interesting as there’ll also be compatibility with Apple’s iOS platform:
Along with iOS compatibility, the two watches also share another commonality with the Apple Watch: a digital crown button that serves to facilitate navigation. The displays are touch sensitive as well, and boast handwriting recognition.
In all honesty, it’s actually very difficult, and a huge design challenge, to get away from integrating a crown of this nature when you’re considering designing a smartwatch. Considering all traditional watches have this type of setup, it makes perfect sense that companies looking to build intelligent timepieces will have some kind of similar integration. It just so happens that Apple was the first to bring this to the Apple Watch, and as such, has heavily patented the digital version of the standard and accepted crown component.
Additional details on the watches are a little thin on the ground at the moment, but we’re likely to welcome in a “Sport” watch which is 14.2mm thick, with a 1.38-inch 480-by-480 circular P-OLED display, 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. It will be IP68 certified, and available in titanium and dark blue.
The smaller “Style” will be the cheaper variant at 10.8mm thick, with a 1.2-inch 360-by-360 display, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. With IP67 certification, the wearable will be available in titanium, silver, and rose gold colors.