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Google Patent Teases Pixel Watch with Built-in Camera

(Image credit: Let's Go Digital)

Google might have an Apple Watch competitor in the works, if a new leak is any indication.

The folks over at Let's Go Digital have discovered a Google patent filing that refers to a new Google Pixel smartwatch. The device looks far more like Samsung's Galaxy Watch than the Apple Watch, but either way, if it's real, it's coming to the smartwatch market.

Like the Galaxy Watch (and unlike Apple Watch), the device comes with a round design instead of the Apple Watch's rectangular design. It appears to be rather basic in its design, with no buttons on the side of the case. That said, the patent drawing does reveal a plan to bundle a camera in the device.

Adding a camera to the Pixel Watch would be a major shot over the bow of all of Google's smartwatch competitors. The market's leaders, including Apple and Samsung, have so far opted not to include cameras in their smartwatches.

But adding a camera to the device would make it far more attractive to those who want to engage in video conferencing from their smartwatches or take selfies. It could also be used with a variety of apps, like social media apps.

Still, Google hasn't discussed its plan for smartwatches. And although the company spent $40 million this year to buy Fossil's smartwatch technology, there's no indication that a device will be launching anytime soon. Indeed, Google, like other big companies, files for patents all the time. Some of those devices become products and others do not.

But all signs are pointing to a Google Pixel event later this year. And it's possible, if not likely, we'll hear about the Pixel Watch at that event.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.