HTC to Show Off Smartwatch Prototype for Carriers Next Week
Wearables haven't really hit the mainstream yet, but soon enough smartwatch shoppers will have plenty of options -- including wrist-worn gadgets from HTC. The Taiwanese company reportedly plans to introduce a smartwatch prototype at next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which is said to be one of three wearables it has in its pipeline.
HTC plans to preview the watch to carriers, but has no plans to showcase the device publicly, Bloomberg reports. This prototype will use Qualcomm's Mirasol display and will be based on the chip maker's Toq watch, which was unveiled late last year. HTC also plans to release two more wearable devices including a watch based on Google Now and a bracelet capable of playing music.
No smartwatches currently on the market use Google Now, but back in October The Wall Street Journal reported that such a device could be ready within months. The report suggested that this purported Google Now watch was in late-stage development nearly 5 months ago, and that it was entering the mass production stage.
Smartwatch maker Omate is also working to bring voice controls to its TrueSmart smartwatch, which will soon get Nuance Communications' Dragon Mobile Assistant. Similar to Google Now, Dragon allows wearers to perform searches and send messages using voice commands. The software also learns more about its wearer the longer he or she uses it, meaning Dragon will make recommendations or pull up sports scores based on your search habits, for instance.
There's no telling when HTC's wearables will make it to the market, but earlier this month the company's chairman Cher Wang told Bloomberg that its smartwatch could hit store shelves in time for the 2014 holiday season.
Mobile World Congress is expected to herald a few new flagship smartwatches, including a Tizen-based smartwatch from Samsung that could be its Galaxy Gear successor and a tech-savvy timepiece from Huawei. We will be on the ground to bring you the news and hands-on impressions as they happen.