The smartwatch market just got smaller. Google has acquired a tech startup that, ironically enough, developed a watch that works with one of its biggest competitors' products: Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.
The acquired company, Cronologics, was founded by former Google employees who developed a competitor to Google's Android Wear operating system. The CoWatch, as its product was named, let you use Alexa by speaking to the watch, and returned results just as if you were talking to the Echo.
Returning to their roots, the founders of Cronologics are expected to help Google add its own voice assistant, Google Now, to Android Wear. And that move would pit Google even more firmly against Amazon, which has been welcomed into consumers homes via Alexa, the voice that lives in Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot smart home devices.
Google's buyout of Cronologics comes on the heels of Fitbit's acquisition of smartwatch-maker Pebble, one of the biggest competitors among fitness gadgets and smartwatches.
While both company acquisitions could reduce the number of smartwatch options that consumers have to choose from, it could mean that the devices that are developed will actually meet the needs and demands of smartwatch users, including taking calls, responding to messages and controlling smart home appliances, all with one wrist-worn device.
Google did not disclose the terms of its acquisition of Cronologics.