With the launch of the Google Pixel 7 just around the corner, the American tech giant has begun frantically teasing upcoming products set to debut on October 6, and the Google Pixel Watch is the latest product to get a good teaser video.
Google shared a youtube video (opens in new tab) titled The Design of Google Pixel Watch, which showcases – you guessed it – the design of the Google Pixel Watch. As Google has already showcased the smartwatch, there’s not much ‘new’ to see here…
…well, plus some interesting stuff.
There’s good news for smartwatch fans, and that is that there are a number of different always-on screens shown in the video.
An always-on display is useful for any gadget as it provides useful information quickly without having to turn on the device; for a smartwatch, it’s even more useful as it lets you wear the wearable like a normal watch, collecting the time (and some other information sometimes) very quickly.
The Google Pixel Watch design video shows several different designs of the always-on display, suggesting that you’ll have plenty of customization options, something you don’t always see on smartwatches.
However, the video shows something we didn’t really like, and it’s portrayed in the image at the top of this article.
While many (if not most) smartwatches use standard watch straps, with a lock to remove them, Google’s video shows a proprietary locking system we haven’t seen before (which likely uses magnets).
Analysis: a proprietary impulse
It looks like Google is ‘pulling an Apple’ here, where it’s in control of its own accessories, but that means two things. Firstly, it will likely cost more to get a new wristband as Google is the only one to produce them initially.
This will be the case at least at first, as the second implication is that there won’t be much choice for a while until outsourced companies start doing more.
In the tech world, ‘owner’ is a cursed word, because when a company manufactures too many of its physical components, it controls its aftermarket too much, which can have a knock-on anti-consumer effect. Just look at Apple and its Lightning ports, which the EU is now forcing to abandon, to protect consumers (and the environment).
Sure, these tech companies make more money when they control the accessories and the products themselves, but do Google and Apple really need even more money?
It’s a shame that Google is adopting this proprietary system instead of using the tried-and-true interchangeable system that many smartwatches use, or even using something similar to this, which bracelet makers will be able to easily emulate. But I expect the third-party band market to become populous very soon.