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Google spends £30m to bring Fossil’s watch tech (and boffins) to WearOS

GOOGLE HAS SHOWN the world that time isn’t up for smartwatches, with a $40m (£30m) investment in technology from the timepiece titan Fossil.

The deal will see “a portion” of Fossil’s R&D team joining the ranks of Google as part of a dedicated WearOS development team, Wareable reports. 

It’s not like Google doesn’t need the help, after being roundly trounced in the smartwatch wars by the Apple Watch range, followed by a relaunch (the product was previously known as Android Wear) which drew plaudits from critics and fans, but which served as a reminder of just how far behind Google had got.

The Fossil tech which comes as part of the deal isn’t clear, but Wareable suggests that it’s something new that would have debuted in some future Fossil watches. The company has been releasing WearOS watches for some time now, and it seems like Google has been impressed with what it has seen.

One likely possibility is that its the tech that Fossil took in its takeover of the Misfit wearable health tracker business back in 2015. This suggests that Google has its eye on the health market, and more specifically, that we could see a fitness-based WearOS watch later in the year.

This is not entirely surprising given that Apple’s sensor array is far more advanced than Google’s, with features like ECG making it a far more useful tool in showing exercise and recovery stats, not to mention being able to spot when something is wrong with your bod ahead of time.

In other words, Google’s keenness to make the tech, whatever it turns out to be, common to all vendors, suggests that Google realises that there’s still life in the watch game yet, and maybe, just maybe, third-iteration will be the charm.

The deal is not dissimilar to the one Google signed with HTC, which also saw members of staff and patents at the heart of a deal, rather than simply buying the company. μ

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Source : Inquirer

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