It’s All in a Name for Google’s Wearable Technology

One week before Baselworld, Europe’s leading watch and jewelry event, Google announced a change to its Android Wear, which will now be known as Wear OS by Google. With a list of partners that includes Diesel, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Guess, Gc, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Montblanc, TAG Heuer and Movado, Google’s wearable technology is available in styles and compatibility options made to meet the varying preferences of consumers.

On March 15, Dennis Troper, director of product management for Wear OS by Google, revealed in a blog post, “As our technology and partnerships have evolved, so have our users. In 2017, one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone,” he said.

Though Google’s technology has been available to Apple iOS users since 2015, referring to the technology as “Android Wear” limited Google’s reach, as consumers could read the former name and mistakenly believe the products were made only for users of Android devices.

Despite the technology’s Android platform, users who rely on Apple iOS are still supported when using Wear OS by Google. Through renaming its product, Google emphasizes that users of Apple’s iOS can benefit from watches that rely on this wearable-technology platform, showing that all consumers are welcome regardless of the operating systems they prefer for their devices.

Google’s partners welcomed the change, as promoting the inclusivity of this technology affords an opportunity to expand their customer base to consumers who couldn’t see past the Android branding.

“Many of our smartwatch customers are iOS users, so we are confident in and eager to see the added benefits that both Android and iOS phone users globally will experience as Wear OS by Google rolls out in 2018,” said Greg McKelvey, chief strategy and digital officer at Fossil Group, in a statement.

At Baselworld 2018, which began in Basel, Switzerland, on March 22, some of Google’s watch partners were scheduled to introduce new products under the recently rebranded technology, a trend that will continue through the remainder of the year.