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A year ago, the smartwatch space didn’t really exist. I mean it did, but it consisted of just a handful of lackluster products from the likes of Sony and Motorola. But if rumors are true, it’ll serve as the next battlefield for the 3 biggest names in tech.

Hot on the heels of reports that both Apple and Samsung are hard at work developing smartphone-connected wristwatches comes a new one from The Financial Times claiming that Google’s Android unit is working on a smartwatch of its own…

The Financial Times reports (via MacRumors):

“Google’s latest venture into wearable technology was more an attention-seeking gimmick than a serious new venture. But with the search giant ploughing significant resources into Google Glass, it’s another indication that Google is serious about moving from the digital to the physical – plans that seem to include a smart watch, too.

While Glass is being created in its X Lab, home to experimental “moonshot” projects such as the self-driving car, Google’s smart watch is being developed by its Android unit, according to a person briefed on the project, to act as an extension to the smartphones using that operating system. The project is separate from Samsung’s efforts, the source said, although there is no indication of when it might launch.”

It would surprise no one if Google waded into the smartwatch space. In addition to its recent infatuation with wearable computers, the young market has already proven to be of interest to consumers, who turned the Pebble into an overnight success.

Perhaps more interesting is the fact that the report mentions that Google’s project is ‘separate from Samsung’s efforts.’ There’s been a lot of talk lately of rising tensions between the two companies, as Samsung distances itself from the Android brand.

But back to the watches. We’ve been hearing rumors that Apple’s working on an ‘iWatch’ for a while now, but the chatter has really heated up in the past few months. Bloomberg reported last month that it had over 100 designers working on the project.

There hasn’t been much said, though, about what the watch will actually be capable of doing, or what it might end up looking like. But speculation seems geared toward it connecting with the iPhone to make phone calls and manage push notifications.

Samsung, for its part, says that it’s also building a smartwatch. The company’s executive vice president of mobile business Lee Young Hee confirmed the product’s existence earlier this week. But, as with Apple and Google, no release date has been set.

What do you think about Google getting into the smartwatch space?