+ Sunday February 24th, 2019

Google’s Wear OS seems to be stagnant with most people seemingly waiting for that magic silver bullet that will fix everything. Google has not given up on the fledgling OS and has signalled that with the purchase of wearable technology from Fossil.

Fossil Group have today announced that they are selling $40 million of “intellectual property (IP) related to a smartwatch technology currently under development by Fossil Group”. The new deal is for a product that is yet to hit the market and the technology is based on tech Fossil obtained when they acquired Misfit a few years ago.

Fossil will continue working on this new technology with its 200 retained R&D staff alongside the staff who will be transferred to Google as part of the deal. Fossil have said that they will be bringing the product to market across all their brands over time once it is ready:

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….The Fossil Group will bring the product to market, across our full breadth of brands over time, and then in true Google fashion, the technology will be expanded across the industry over time to benefit all.Greg McKelvey, EVP and chief strategy and digital officer of the Fossil Group

Fossil Group currently owns a number of well known fashion brands of which many have released Wear OS watches in previous years including Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, Skagen, Kate Spade New York and many more.

The deal does not signify that Google will be using the technology in their own Pixel Watch (which we hoped for) but instead they have purchased the technology to make it available to all of their partners in the ecosystem.

We saw some technology that they were developing that we thought could be brought out in a more expansive way if Google had that technology, and was not only able to continue to use it with Fossil but bring it to other partners in the ecosystem.Stacey Burr, VP of Product Management of Wear OS at Google

The new technology appears to be a new product line but it is unknown when we will begin seeing new products based on this new tech emerge. Fossil are focusing on finishing off their development of the technology and will be first to bring it to market, followed, most likely, by other members of Google’s Wear OS ecosystem.

The new purchase shows that Google are focused on improving Wear OS and its ecosystem and although the wheels seem to move slowly in that area, they are moving. Hopefully we start to see this commitment by Google come to fruition soon with Wear OS updates and now products that make us all want to purchase Wear OS smartwatches again.

Any ideas on what the new tech could be? Smart fob watches?

Source: Fossil.
Via: Wareable.

Scott Plowman   Editor

Scott is our modding guru - he has his finger on the pulse of all things ‘moddable’, pointing us towards all the cutting edge mods hacks that are available. When he’s not gymming it up, or scanning the heck out of Nexus devices, you'll find him on the Ausdroid Podcast.

Outside of Ausdroid, Scott's a health care professional and lecturer at a well known Victorian university.

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Phill Edwards
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Phill Edwards

Smart watches just need one improvement to be successful – 5 day battery life.

Stuart
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Stuart

Can we start a discussion to assume what the technology might be? Or rather technologies we would love to see on the smartwatch? For Google to be interested in aqcuiring and expanding it, it must be pretty different to what we currently see. My guess is possibly something to do with the watch bands. My smartwatch fiction is a watch with a laser projector to throw a screen onto your wrist with input capabilities (screen on your wrist), might have to shave my arm though! Personally, and on a side note, I am waiting for a NFC enabled Hybrid Smartwatch.… Read more »

Russell
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Russell

A few features, some new, some not so much:
*accurate sleep tracking integrated into the OS (this would obviously require improvements to battery life)
*use your WearOS watch for authentication – under-screen fingerprint scanner
*even further integration with Google Assistant, ability to use actions (“turn on light” from watch)
*technology adopted from the Matrix PowerWatch (watch powered by body heat). Would allow for the above features and create a unique selling point vs the competition. Even if this resulted in 1 week battery life, would surely sway a few more users?
*NOT a camera!

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