The Google Pixel Watch could feature a camera built into the watch face

Uncovered patent suggests the smartwatch could snap from the screen
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Google may be planning to include a built-in camera in its long-awaited smartwatch, the Pixel Watch.

The Mountain View giant's patent - spotted by LetsGoDigital, who also created the above render - was granted this week after being filed back in 2017, detailing a design with a single-lens camera in the centre of the watch's display.

Read more: Your ultimate guide to Wear OS

The patent features seven sketches that show what Google is imagining - a smartwatch with a camera mounted behind its watch face display, able to take pictures through the glass. However, just how exactly it would run its Wear OS platform over (or perhaps around) the camera in a display is not described.

The Google Pixel Watch could feature a camera built into the watch face

We've been tracking details of the Pixel Watch for several years, and this patent filing is yet another addition to the list of potential features that the watch could finally arrive with.

Save for the Samsung Gear 2, launched back in 2015, none of the major smartwatch players have offered a camera in a watch, so Google would be taking a considerable gamble here. However, it's perhaps worth noting that Google's line of Pixel phones has so far stuck to single-lens cameras. That may change in the Google Pixel 4, but it still means even a picture taken through the glass of a watch could end up with impressive detail and color, given Google's pedigree on this front.

However, naturally, this is only a patent filing - one with design features that we imagine are extremely unlikely to make it to a final product. As it was also drawn up back in 2017, this could be an idea the company has moved on from, too.

There's still, remember, a very real possibility we don't see a Pixel Watch at all, as well. While it's still possible Google launches its first own-brand smartwatch before the end of 2019 - and it has made moves that suggest wearable hardware is coming, such as buying $40m worth of intellectual property from Fossil - we're still waiting for concrete leaks over a release date, prototypes and features.

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Max Freeman-Mills


Reporter Max Freeman-Mills joined the Wareable team as a journalism graduate. He's gone on to be contributing editor at Pocketlint, as a skilled technology journalist and expert.

In addition, Max has written for The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, and has done work for Gizmodo UK and Kotaku UK. 

Max has his finger is firmly on the pulse of wearable tech – ensuring our coverage is the most comprehensive it can be. 

That also involves interviewing CEOs and figureheads from the industry.

Max loves a bit of football, watching and playing to differing degrees of success, and is practically resident at the Genesis Cinema.

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