It's official: LG's mystery Audi smartwatch ditches Android Wear

We're learning more about LG's mysterious new smartwatch

One of the most intriguing devices seen at CES 2015 was LG's new mystery smartwatch. Details about the device were thin on the ground, though we did know that the Korean company had teamed up with Audi to create a smartwatch to control Audi's range of new driverless cars.

Apart from a brief glimpse at the Audi presentation, we didn't know much more. Was this an early version of the LG G Watch R's successor, or a completely new smartwatch?

Although LG's previous smartwatches have previously run Android Wear, this one wasn't, as confirmed by Android Central who managed to get a closer look at the mysterious wearable.

Instead of Android Wear it's running Open webOS, an operating system similar to Android that started life in 2009 by the once mighty tech company Palm. It has since been picked up by LG and used to power a number of its smart devices, such as TVs.

According to Android Central the webOS interface on the new smartwatch, which currently is only known by its model number LG-W120L, is similar to the custom Android interface found on LG's smartphones.

Smartwatch, smart car

By moving away from Android Wear it would mean that the smartwatch could work with non-Android devices. The inclusion of a 'Sounds' setting, which hints at a built-in speaker and perhaps microphone, means that the watch might also be able to be used as a standalone cellular device.

The prototype Android Central saw had a stylish stainless steel design with a sapphire crystal face and leather strap. An Audi app was included that allows the wearer to control various elements of the connected vehicle and also allows for unlocking the car doors via NFC.

Rumour has it that LG is preparing a consumer webOS smartwatch for next year. The question is: will LG dump Android Wear entirely?

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Via Android Central

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.