Watchmaker Fossil Group this week revealed that it is selling some smartwatch technology it is currently developing to Google. The transaction is valued at $40 million (about CA$53 million). It will see Google acquire both new smartwatch intellectual property and and a portion of Fossil’s R&D team.
Greg McKelvey, EVP and chief strategy and digital officer of the Fossil Group, provided little information about what Google just bought. He told Wareable that “it’s based on something out of our timeline, it’s new to the market technology and we think it’s a product that has features and benefits that aren’t in the category today.” He added that its origins can be traced back to Fossil’s acquisition of Misfit back in 2015.
Fossil will complete the development of this new technology. It then plans to bring it to market “across our full breadth of brands over time.” Google will then offer it to its other partners as it continues to look for ways to differentiate itself from the plethora of competitors, including Apple and its dominant smartwatch, in the wearables space.
For its part, Google’s Stacey Burr, president of product management for WearOS, explained that “the addition of Fossil Group’s technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry by enabling a diverse portfolio of smartwatches and supporting the ever-evolving needs of the vitality-seeking, on-the-go consumer.”
Fossil first launched smartwatches back in 2015 when Wear OS was known as Android Wear. It offers today a range of smartwatches and connected watches like the Gen 4 Q Explorist HR and hybrid Commuter Smoke (pictured above).
It remains to be seen if this latest acquisition will finally see Google bring to market its own smartwatches. Maybe a Pixel smartwatch will become reality after years of rumours.
Source : Wareable