The eagle-eyed were ecstatic: HTC had shared a video of its design studios and there, lurking in plain (if pixely) sight, seemed to be the much-rumored HTC smartwatch, right there on a designer's desk. It was enough to reignite speculation about an HTC-made Android Wear wearable, but now HTC has waded in with some cold water, claiming the whole thing is just a designer's tinkering.
According to an HTC spokesperson, the prototype is indeed a smartwatch, but it's not specifically what HTC plans to actually make. Instead, it's a design exercise by one of the team, rather than an early product.
"HTC encourages our design team to explore and tinker with new ideas and even models, as is the case with the watch some viewers noticed in our recent HTC Design video. It in no way indicates an actual product HTC is planning to release. Keep an eye on this space for exciting new products from HTC when they are ready to be announced!" HTC
The video, which you can see below, showed both a CAD model and a physical prototype of the smartwatch. With a square screen, it seemed HTC's designer had a similar idea to LG and Samsung - which both have Android Wear watches on sale already - rather than following Motorola's path with the circular MOTO 360.
HTC has already said it plans to join the Android Wear party, but there's no timescale for that to actually happen. Back in May, leaks suggested HTC was looking at round not square displays, and though it's unclear if that will actually be the case it might be a sensible strategy for the firm.
Our own research indicated those who were keen on Android Wear were for the most part holding off until they could buy a round model.