If we needed further proof that Google remains committed to wearables, here it is: the tech giant just paid Fossil Group $40 million (about £31m, AU$55m) for unspecified smartwatch intellectual property (IP) that the company had been developing. In a bid to improve the cause, Google has now bought some of Fossil's R&D team.
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.
According to Wareable's quote of Greg McKelvey, EVP and chief strategy and digital officer of the Fossil Group, the new Wear OS device (s) will feature technology developed on top of Fossil's $260 million acquisition of Misfit. "We'll continue to use this technology in partnership with Google", a Fossil Group spokeswoman said.
In late summer, Wear OS head Miles Barr said he doesn't believe Google reached the point whereat it can start thinking about creating a "one-size-fits-all watch", suggesting the company isn't interested in niche devices and will only be looking at commercialization opportunities when it believes it can deliver something with a mass appeal factor. "This is a very vital category and we will continue to invest and be part of this dynamic ecosystem".
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Google is buying Fossil's smartwatch technology for $40 million to pursue its smartwatch vision. Since Fossil uses Google's Wear OS for its existing smartwatches, it certainly needed to add support for its upcoming tech to the platform. Google saw this technology and thought it "could be brought out in a more expansive way".
The deal, which will see some of Fossil's R&D team joining Google, will result in the launch of a "new product innovation that's not yet hit the market". It wouldn't make much sense for the company to launch its own watch that simply blends in with all other Wear OS devices. After supposedly cancelling a Pixel-branded smartwatch last year, maybe 2019 will finally be the year?
So, Google's going big in the smartwatch market now. The tech isn't related to any Fossil smartwatch now on the market, A Fossil Group spokesperson confirmed to TechRadar.