Google has been making moves in recent weeks to beef up its Wear OS and the hardware that runs the operating system for wearable devices. In mid-January, the company spent $40 million to acquire key Fossil smartwatch intellectual property and members of the company's research and development team.
Now, it appears that Google is looking for a Vice President of Hardwire Engineering for Wearables, which is a new position. The job listing was posted to the Google Careers website, and shows that Google is finally starting to take the wearables market seriously. The company launched Android Wear back in 2014, and rebranded it as Wear OS in March 2018. After Motorola made a splash with the original Motorola Moto 360, there hasn't really been a "standard bearer" device to really showcase Google's efforts in wearables.
On the mainline Android platform, Google has its Pixel family of smartphones to highlight the latest features of a new OS release. With Chrome OS, Google has the Pixel Slate and Pixelbook families. It only makes sense that Google would want its own smartwatch that would serve as a flagship offering that would go toe-to-toe with the dominant Apple Watch.
The job listing claims that the person hired for the VP position will "Work collaboratively with the Senior Leadership team for Google Hardware and will be responsible for the design, development, and shipment of all Google's Wearable products. You will lead and enable the effectiveness of a large engineering organization primarily based in Mountain View to develop multiple next-generation wearable products simultaneously."
When the Fossil deal was announced last month, Stacey Burr, Google's Vice President of Product Management for Wear OS, added, "We're very optimistic about the future of smartwatches and the role for Google, Wear OS and our partners within that evolving space. This is a very vital category and we will continue to invest and be part of this dynamic ecosystem."
We've heard rumors about the potential for a Google-branded smartwatch for years, and this looks like the most concrete information that we've found to date that leads credence to this possibility.