A patent for a Google fitness tracker has surfaced online, sparking speculation the company could be about to dive into wearables.
The filing, spotted by 91Mobiles, shows a very standard looking fitness band, with a heart rate monitor but no display.
It all feels a little old school, but also would draw natural comparisons to the latest Amazon Halo, which also dispenses with a screen.
Of course, Google is still trying to buy Fitbit in a $2.1bn deal thatâs under scrutiny from the Justice Department.
So this could be the company thinking ahead about its first joint hardware, which looks like it would be a low-cost, entry level device.
Or Google could be hedging its bets â getting its IP in place in case the Fitbit deal gets blocked and has to forge ahead with its plans alone.
We also donât know much about the listing, as we couldnât independently verify the information.
From whatâs been reported, this has been certified by the US Patent and Trademark Office, but that doesnât mean that itâs anywhere close to release.
Whatâs more, we donât know the date this was filed or created, or that itâs an active project by Google. Tech companies file thousands of patents (check out Apple's myriad of patents for the Apple Watch), the majority don't amount to anything. But they do offer a useful window for us observers to get an insight into the conversations taking place inside these development teams.
But what it does confirm â if everything actually pans out as it appears â is that Google is actively exploring wearables and designs.
With or without Fitbit.