The “Pixel watch” running Wear OS has been rumored in earnest since last year, but in the meantime the Made by Google team created a wristband that measures biological responses and is very much in line with the company’s design aesthetic. However, it’s so far only meant for a temporary art installation in Milano.

Google is briefly operating “A Space for Being” at design conference Salone del Mobile Milano. This exhibited was created in conjunction with Muuto Design, Reddymade Architecture, and John Hopkins University’s International Arts + Mind Lab.

It features three rooms each decorated with a “distinct look, feel, scent and sound, complete with unique textures, colors and design elements.”

  • Essential
  • Vital
  • Transformative

Besides Google’s contributions of the Home Max and Home Hub, the company designed a “specially-made wristband” that does not have a display. It is colored with company’s pastel shades that are found on the Home Mini’s fabrics and past Pixel phones.

Sensors look to be located underneath in the middle, just like on other fitness bands. Charging also occurs from that central point, with Google also creating a dock that integrates power and storage for the one-piece wristbands.

As attendees walk through the spaces, they’ll wear a specially-made wristband that measures biological responses such as heart activity, breathing rate, skin temperature, skin conductivity and motion.

When guests are finished exploring the exhibit, they will see a “visual representation of their response to each room” through a customized readout that suggests which space made them feel most “at ease.”

The Made by Google team was behind this initiative, with hardware design head Ivy Ross penning the blog post detailing the company’s look into neuroaesthetics, or precisely measuring a user’s reaction to design.

Neuroaesthetics gives scientific backing to what designers have always known: design matters. It’s because of this intuition that our team of hardware designers built our Made by Google products using certain colors, like the Not Pink hue option for Pixel 3 phones, and specific textures, like the fabric base on the Google Home Hub. We always strive to build products that fit seamlessly into your life, and make you feel “at ease.”

9to5Google’s Take

A “specially-made” wearable that focuses on health makes a lot of sense for Google, even if it’s currently just a one-off effort. Google is of course ramping up its health initiative, with this band not having to deal with the current state of Wear OS and probably excelling on sensors, the processing algorithms, and how that data is displayed to users.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com