Earlier this year, Google paid Fossil $40 million for the watchmaker’s intellectual property. Greg McKelvey, executive vice president of Fossil, stated at the time that, thanks to the agreement, a new innovation would be launched for the smartwatch market. He went on to say that IP is “…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 technology purchased by Google was developed by Fossil after it purchased Misfit in 2015 for $260 million. Google has detached the importance of its purchase by stating that what it had acquired was a new product innovation that has not yet reached the market. Stacey Burr, vice president of product management for Wear OS at Google, said in January that the acquisition will strengthen Wear OS and that future Google partners will be offered the technology.
So now here we are, eight months later, and right now we’re finding out through sources that talked to Wareable exactly what the transaction was about. Google would have purchased the rights for a hybrid smartwatch technology developed by Fossil. A hybrid is a watch that looks like a traditional watch, but with the capabilities of a smartwatch. Within Fossil, this technology was called “Diana”, a combination of digital and analog. And as we said, Misfit had originally created “Diana”, which arrived in Fossil in 2015. Apparently, there are several variations of “Diana” and if Google builds its own watch, all, some or none of them could be used. More important to Google than IP, according to experts, were the 20 Fossil engineers who joined Google as part of the deal.
Last year, the lack of a Pixel Watch indicated that Wear OS was not ready for prime time
Those who are familiar with Fossil’s thinking claim that the company has made a deal with Google because of the amount of money it was spending to support its engineers and the money it was spending to develop a hybrid smartwatch. After the dust settled on the $40 million deal, Greg McKelvey, EVP, and head of the Fossil strategy and digital officer revealed the game plan for the technology acquired by Google.
Those fans of the Google ecosystem were waiting for Google to launch a Pixel Watch. Last year, despite strong speculation that Google would announce a smartwatch with the Pixel brand at its Made by Google event, no watch was announced. At that time, our opinion on this was that Google realized that Wear OS was not quite ready for prime time. This year, outside of the Fossil agreement, there has been almost no company tweet on that device. And considering that Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have leaked like a sieve, hopefully, you’ve seen some surface images. Meanwhile, the next Made by Google event is scheduled for October 15 and we do not expect to see a Pixel Watch not open at the event. However, you never know. Thanks to the mid-range pixels launched earlier this year, the Pixel brand has never had so much momentum behind it. And Google is trying to deal with Apple and Samsung with its upcoming flagship phones. With all this in mind, it would be a good time to launch Pixel Watch.
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