Global watch and accessories maker Fossil Group has announced to sell its smartphone technology to Google for $40 million.
As part of the transaction that is expected to close this month, a portion of Fossil Group’s research and development (R&D) team currently supporting the transferring intellectual property (IP) will join Google, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Fossil, that builds smartwatches that run Google’s Wear OS software and competes with Apple Watch, would retain more than 200 R&D team members to focus on innovation and product development.
Post the deal, Google will have a dedicated team working on its WearOS software platform with hardware experience and may also work on new smartwatch designs.
“We’ve built and advanced a technology that has the potential to improve upon our existing platform of smartwatches. Together with Google, our innovation partner, we’ll continue to unlock growth in wearables,” said Greg McKelvey, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Digital Officer, Fossil Group.
Fossil Group has launched smartwatches across 14 of its owned and licensed brands.
“Wearables, built for wellness, simplicity, personalisation and helpfulness, have the opportunity to improve lives by bringing users the information and insights they need quickly, at a glance. 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,” said Stacey Burr, Vice President of Product Management, Wear OS by Google.
Fossil, which already has a wide range of smart and hybrid smartwatches launched seven next-gen touchscreen smartwatches under 6 brands in India.
Starting from Rs 19,995, the seven smartwatches are: Fossil Gen 4 Smartwatch Venture HR and Explorist HR for Fossil; Skagen Falster 2 for Skagen; Michael Kors Access Runway for Michael Kors; Emporio Armani Connected for Emporio Armani; A|X Armani Exchange Connected for Armani Exchange and Diesel Full Guard for Diesel.
Powered with Wear OS by Google and running Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 Platform, the new product line comes with features like touchscreen digital display, Bluetooth technology, wireless syncing and magnetic charging, compatibility with iOS 9.3+ and Android 4.4+ (excluding Go edition) and long battery life.
The smartwatches have features like heart rate sensor, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light and microphone.