(Pocket-lint) - Google and Fossil Group have entered into a $40 million agreement, in which Google will acquire some of Fossil’s smartwatch technology and members of the watchmaker's research and development team.
These team members are responsible for the intellectual property that Google is buying. This means Google will have its own watchmaking team with hardware experience. They will presumably work on Google's WearOS platform and maybe a new smartwatch. Keep in mind Google has been reportedly developing the Pixel Watch for years, to showcase Wear OS, though it's never materialised.
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In a statement to the media, Stacey Burr, the president of product management for Google’s WearOS platform, commented on the agreement: “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.”
Burr also suggested the technology Google is acquiring has a health focus. Wareable spoke with Google and Fossil about it, and Fossil said the technology is a “new product innovation that’s not yet hit the market". The technology is based on something Fossil got when it acquired Misfit in 2015. Google saw this technology and thought it "could be brought out in a more expansive way".
Now, Fossil is one of Google’s most dedicated hardware partners on WearOS. And so, Google plans to still let Fossil bring the technology to market in the form of a product, and later, the "full breadth of brands over time". Eventually, it'll expand “across the industry over time to benefit all".
While that all sounds rather ominous and vague, the big takeaway here is that Google hasn't given up hope on WearOS and wants to fully take on Apple Watch. Clearly, it thinks Fossil's mystery technology can help, as will the R&D team.