Google 'exploring' smartwatch to assist Android devices

Following the Pebble Smartwatch phenomenon, it seems The Big Two want in

The appetite for a smartwatch wrist accessory to complement smartphones was evidenced by the Pebble Smartwatch and its phenomenal success on Kickstarter. Apparently, Google wants in on that action

Google is seriously considering building an Android-based smartwatch, allowing users to view notifications, get directions, read messages and relay instructions to its handsets, without taking their phones out of their pockets, according to reports on Friday.

Business Insider claims to have been informed by inside sources that the search and mobile giant is 'getting closer' to signing off on a wearable accompaniment to its range of Android smartphones and tablets.

Back in October, the company succeeded in a patent application for a touchscreen smartwatch with a flip-up display, but since then the trail has gone somewhat cold, but Friday's reports suggest that the project is still on the agenda and moving along nicely

With Apple also rumoured to be working on an iWatch based on the iOS mobile operating system and the first Pebble Smartwatch shipments reaching the earliest of 69,000 Kickstarter backers, there's never been a better time for Google to commit fully to the concept.

Of course, Google is already mightily involved with the wearable computing scene, thanks to its Project Glass Augmented Reality specs, expected to reach the public in late 2013 and 2014.

What would you hope to see from an Android smartwatch? Google Maps integration? Mini-games from the Google Play store? The best local places to visit? Let us know in the comments section below.