Google’s Android Wear to Power TAG Heuer Smartwatches

Google, Intel and TAG Heuer plan to partner on a new smartwatch. The device is apparently designed to look like a traditional wrist watch.

In a somewhat unusual collaborative effort, Google’s Android Wear operating system will power a new Intel microprocessor-based smartwatch from Swiss luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer.The three companies announced plans to partner on the watch at a press conference at the Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show in Switzerland Thursday.

“The effort signifies a new era of collaboration between Swiss watchmakers and Silicon Valley,” said Jean-Claude Biver, TAG Heuer CEO, said in a statement. “Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility,” he said.

Rumors about Intel and TAG Heuer collaborating on a smartwatch have been floating around for the past several months. The two companies in fact were expected to announce a jointly developed smartwatch at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The device, which will deliver all the functions of current-generation smartwatches, is apparently designed to look more like a traditional wrist watch.

News about Google’s involvement in the effort is new and suggests that the Swiss smartwatch is a direct response to the newly launched Apple Watch. Apple’s much-anticipated smartwatch, released earlier this month, comes in three models, starting with a $349 Sport model and going all the way up to a high-end $17,000 luxury Watch Edition.

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