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Google files smartwatch patent with Google Glass touchpad panels

Google has submitted a patent application for a smartwatch that includes two trackpads similar to that featured in Google Glass.

The search engine giant has been rumoured to be working on a smartwatch for a while, but this latest patent application submitted to the United States Patent Office (USPO) details a timepiece that features a touchpad either side of the watch face.

Featuring “a first touchpad located on a first side of the base” and “a second touchpad located on a second side of the base opposite the first side”, Google’s smartwatch could be an innovative invention.

It seems much more practical to have touchpads that allow interaction with the smartwatch features without actually having to touch the face and therefore obscure the display.

The patents outlines that the two trackpads would “support touchpad functions including, but not limited to, pinch, stretch and scroll on a platform with limited space available for user input” for communication with “a voltage line, a data line, and a clock line”.

Of course, this vague wording means that the Google smartwatch could connect to other devices too, including Android smartphones like the search engine giant’s own Google Nexus 4.

We’re expecting a Google smartwatch to include a wide range of Google apps including Gmail, Google Maps and Google Calendar, and if Google Glass’ voice activation plays a part we could see the upcoming Google Babel messaging client make an appearance.

The trackpads could pose a bit of an issue if there was no simple way to temporarily disable them when not in use, but if the touchpad on Google Glass is used as the basis for their design, the smartwatch should prove to be fairly intuitive.

The company’s previous Google smartwatch patent outlined a device with a transparent cover atop the face that could be raised to act as a transparent display. However, this latest iteration seems much more likely and user friendly than the last.

Google smartwatch patent application

Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are all rumoured to be working on their own smartwatch concepts, but details including any smartwatch release dates are still unknown.

Are smartwatches a fad or the future? Read our opinion piece to find out what we think.


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