A year or so ago, everyone thought that Android Wear was going to take over the smartwatch category; off-the-shelf software would let hardware manufacturers focus on what they do best. It hasn’t really worked out that way. There are a few Wear watches, its true. But Samsung has Android and Tizen watches. Pebble is going its own way. Sports watch makers are sticking to their guns. And Apple is, well, Apple.
LG is sneaking word of the Urbane LTE smartwatch, which it will be unveiling next week at Mobile World Congress. There are some particularly interesting things about that watch. It doesn’t depend on a smartphone for its connectivity, using an LTE celluar modem and SIM. That means, in part, that the watch can use new VoLTE (Voice over LTE) technology for voice calls — direct from the watch.
The matter of the OS that the Urbane LTE uses seems to be a matter for discussion. CNet says it uses WebOS, the operating system that originated with Palm and wound up in LG TVs. The Verge says it’s not WebOS, but it’s not Android, either.
Whichever, we’re looking forward to seeing this thing in person in Barcelona, and getting the real scoop about what makes this thing tick.