Google today announced plans to acquire a share of Fossil's smartwatch technology for $ 40 million ($ 56 million). As part of the deal, Google will also receive a share of the Fossil Group's research and development team. It's not exactly clear at the moment. what specific technology that Google is looking for – but acquisition, paradoxically, makes a lot of sense and is a bit difficult to understand.
First of all, the transaction makes sense because Fossil is Google's oldest wearable partner. While we have seen Wear OS watches (formerly Android Wear) from other companies, such as LG, Fossil has the most expansive and stylish collection with the wearables platform from Google.
"Wearables, created for well-being, simplicity, personalization and utility, have the opportunity to enhance life by bringing users the information and insights they need quickly, in the blink of an eye," said Stacey Burr, vice president product management system in one statement.
"The addition of Fossil Group's technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry, enabling a diverse portfolio of smartwatches and supporting the ever-evolving needs of the consumer for vitality and on the go."
This is where the scratching of the head comes in. Fossil's strengths are usually in its analogue hybrid watches. These watches are basically stylish, antique clocks that hide smart features. They typically get optimum battery life, track basic metrics such as steps, and can ping with push notifications, but little else.
Fossil has just recently stepped up its Wear OS game with Fossil Sport and this month only features such as heart rate, NFC and GPS have been added to its smartwatches by Kate Spade and Michael Kors Access Sofie.
But when it comes to the so-called Pixel watch, this does not offer much confidence. Google's smartwatch platform had its ups and downs and by then some designs and markups. It was also hampered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100, which consumes a lot of battery life, and so far the latest 3100 chip has not been incorporated into many watches on the market. (At the moment, it's just Fossil Sport and Montblanc Summit 2).
Fossil watches are undoubtedly the best Wear OS hardware, but they do not compete on the same level as Samsung's Galaxy Watch or Apple Watch.
So, a hybrid-analog pixel? No, thank you. This seems to be a total waste of Google's efforts to revamp Wear OS and a disappointment to everyone who is waiting for a good Android touchscreen smartwatch. Which leaves me narrowing my eyes on Burr's comments on "well-being." Once again, as far as health technology is concerned, Fossil has so far accompanied Apple Watch, Fitbit and Samsung.
Anyway, it's already a good alternative from Android to Apple Watch, and we hope this acquisition is a sign that Google is ready to stop moving forward.[The Verge]