An FCC filing from Asus reveals that the next ZenWatch, called the ZenWatch 3, is going to be a round device, moving away from the company's history of releasing square Android Wear watches.
For those unaware, devices that use radio communications of any kind need to be passed through the FCC before they can go on sale in the States. More often than not, these listings reveal little in terms of specification or design and are made up of dozens of charts showing how tests on the various radio frequencies were performed, as well as results from those tests.
Listings also usually contain pictures of the FCC label, and show (vaguely) where on the device it is likely to feature. In the case of this ZenWatch 3, the FCC information will be placed on the underside of the casing, around the edges, which look distinctly round. This as good as confirms the next ZenWatch name, as well as its shape.
Very little else is revealed about the ZenWatch 3 in the FCC listing, at least when it comes to design or hardware specifications. However, it is revealed that we'll see a watch equipped with Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz) and a stainless steel back which ships with a 5V 2A (10 watt) charger in the box.
The change from square to round is interesting, from a perspective of narrative, since Android Wear began as a platform for square screens. That was before the first Moto 360 was released. Once round became the more popular option, every other Android Wear device maker seemed to follow suit. In fact, except for the recently announced Polar M600 sports watch, every big-name Android Wear watch has had a circular screen.
While the shape may be changing, one thing we're hoping stays the same is Asus' focus on value for money. The ZenWatch, in years gone by, has been one of the most affordable ways to get an Android Wear watch.
It seems likely that we'll see an announcement from Asus regarding the ZenWatch 3 in Germany next month. The IFA trade show in Berlin is often used by tech companies to reveal new products, and is taking place in just a couple of weeks' time.