Cronologics, the company that developed what it hoped would be an alternative smartwatch OS to Android Wear, has been acquired by Google for an unknown sum. The startup was founded by former Google employees, ironically enough, and recently launched the Alexa-powered and Amazon-blessed CoWatch. The Cronologics OS that powers it is based on Android Lollipop, and can supposedly run almost any Android app, assuming the CoWatch could sideload them (it can’t).
Google didn’t reveal why it bought the company, and Cronologics just said (via a statement on its site) that “we see strong alignment with Android Wear’s mission and look forward to working with our new colleagues at Google.” It didn’t specifiy if it would continue to sell the CoWatch, though that seems unlikely given that Google Home competes directly with Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo products.
Hopefully, Google wants the Cronologics team to build Home features into the Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch OS (coming early next year), though that’s pure speculation on my part. What I do know is that smartwatches have failed to catch on with the public, so Google’s next OS release had better be a big improvement, or the whole category might remain in a niche.