Google buys $40 million worth of smartwatch tech from Fossil Group

Valentina Palladino


Wearables have actually brought Google and the fashion-focused Fossil Group better together. Today, Fossil revealed it will offer copyright associated to smartwatch innovation to Google in an offer worth $40 million. Upon news of the offer, Fossil Group shares leapt about 8 percent today.

In Addition To the IP, an area of Fossil’s research study and advancement group concentrated on wearables will sign up with Google. Nevertheless, the statement highlights Google and Fossil’s “shared financial investment in the wearable market,” which likely suggests that this offer will not stop Fossil’s wearable efforts completely. Fossil Group– that includes Diesel, Armani, Skagen, and Michael Kors– has actually released smartwatches running Use OS and hybrid smartwatches throughout 14 of its brand names.

Greg McKelvey, Executive Vice President and Chief Technique and Digital Officer at Fossil Group, stated the following in a declaration:

Fossil Group has actually experienced substantial success in its wearables service by concentrating on item style and advancement notified by our strong understanding of customers’ requirements and design choices … We have actually constructed and advanced an innovation that has the prospective to surpass our existing platform of smartwatches. Together with Google, our development partner, we’ll continue to open development in wearables.

According to a report from Wareable, McKelvey mentioned the offer will cause a “brand-new item development that’s not yet strike the marketplace.” This is supposedly based upon innovation that Fossil obtained from wearable business Misfit when it purchased the start-up for $260 million back in 2015.

All of Fossil’s digital-faced smartwatches work on Google’s Use OS, so the 2 business have actually currently collaborated for rather a long time. However Fossil is among numerous business to establish ” hybrid” smartwatches, the majority of which have analog faces and look like standard wrist watches in the majority of visual methods.

Nevertheless, they still have the internal tech required to track day-to-day activity and sleep, along with provide smart device informs through vibrations, customized watch-hand motions, and other subtle methods. These are functions that Misfit gadgets currently had when Fossil acquired the business. Some Misfit smartwatches and trackers even utilized side buttons to manage smartwatch functions, like taking a picture with the phone’s video camera or stopping briefly music playback. While hybrid smartwatches do not have actually touchscreen user interfaces, run apps, or shop music like Use OS gadgets can, they master durability by having battery lives that last months to years.

It’s possible that Google wishes to check out the “hybrid” side of smartwatches. Google, oddly, hasn’t made its own Pixel smartwatch yet, so the business might wish to see if and how it can integrate a few of Fossil’s innovation into its next Google-made wearables.

Stacey Burr, Vice President of Item Management, Use OS by Google stated in a declaration:

Wearables, constructed for health, simpleness, customization and helpfulness, have the chance to enhance lives by bringing users the info and insights they require rapidly, at a glimpse. The addition of Fossil Group’s innovation and group to Google shows our dedication to the wearables market by allowing a varied portfolio of smartwatches and supporting the ever-evolving requirements of the vitality-seeking, on-the-go customer.

Welcoming the “simpleness” of Fossil’s hybrid smartwatches might provide Google an edge. The tech needed to produce a hybrid smartwatch does not require to be as advanced as that of an Use OS gadget. Google might have the ability to get the attentions of those who do not desire gadgets (like Use OS watches or the Apple Watch) however rather more standard, fashion-forward gadgets with a couple of modern capabilities.

Presently, the fight in between Use OS and watchOS appears to prefer Apple’s OS. Use OS has the benefit of numerous designs and rate points thanks to OEMs on both the tech and style ends producing smartwatches that run the OS. However watchOS has the benefit of Apple-made chips, indicating the Watch isn’t kept back by Qualcomm’s evident disinterest in making competitive wearable SoCs.

The offer is set to be settled later on this month.