A smartwatch is rumored to be under development by the tech giant's Android unit, which creates the operating system that powers many smartphones and tablet computers, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
Britain's Financial Times, which first reported the rumor, said Google declined to comment but the newspaper cited a 2011 patent Google holds for a smartwatch that includes a "flip-up display" as evidence the company could be considering marketing such a device.
Some smartwatches already available from small companies like Pebble and Martian Watches have attracted attention from consumers, leading to speculation some of the larger tech firms want a piece of a possible new market segment.
Apple is rumored to have a large development team working on a smartwatch while a Samsung executive recently admitted in an interview that the South Korean company is working on a watch that would have features similar to a smartphone.
And there may be another South Korean contender; LG is rumored to be working on a smartwatch product to compete with its rivals, the Korea Times reported, citing an unnamed source.
LG already sells smartwatches, but may be hoping a next generation smartwatch would give it an entry into what is a suddenly hot market segment getting a lot of attention.
Wisconsin business offering 'therapeutic cuddling' forced to close
Costly malfunction causes beer flood at Boston-area brewery