Google Paid $40M for Fossil’s ‘Secret’ Tech to Rival the Apple Watch

Google Wear Os Fossil Credit: Hollis Johnson / Business Insider
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Referring to it as a “new product innovation that’s not yet hit the market,” top executives at Google and The Fossil Group announced that the Android OS-maker will cut a huge check to acquire intellectual property covering the premium watch-maker’s “secret,” “currently under development” smartwatch tech.

The deal, which is reportedly worth a whopping $40 million, according to Wareable, will see a yet-to-be-determined number of Fossil’s R&D team members joining Google. More importantly, the acquisition will conclude in the launch of a whole new line of wearable products built upon technology Fossil has been secretly developing behind closed doors for years now.

“It’s 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,” McKelvey said, acknowledging that this “new product line” will be based on technology his firm acquired back in 2015 via its $260 million acquisition of advanced wearable-maker, Misfit.

“Made by Google”

While neither company confirmed when we might expect to see the first of its new products, their “transaction” is expected to be finalized later on this month. McKelvey also reiterated that Fossil plans to launch “multiple new devices” across its various brands, employing the new technology.

But Google — whose signature Android-based Wear OS powers a myriad of premium smartwatches from the likes of Samsung, LG, and others — doesn’t make a self-branded smartwatch of its own (yet).

In a statement to Wareable, Google’s VP of Product Management for Wear OS, Stacey Burr, seemingly confirmed the upcoming product line will “sit within the Wear OS family,” reiterating Google’s commitment to the smartwatch, and the future thereof.

“We saw some technology that they were developing that we thought could be brought out in a more expansive way if Google had that technology, and was not only able to continue to use it with Fossil but bring it to other partners in the ecosystem,” Burr said of Google’s decision to drop $40m on the tech.

“It’s about bringing great features to the widest numbers of on-the-go consumers,” she added. 

Interestingly, when asked about the likelihood of these Wear OS advancements ever resulting in a bonafide “Made by Google” smartwatch, Burr demurred (though she didn’t flat-out deny the possibility, either).

“We’re very optimistic about the future of smartwatches and the role for Google, Wear OS and our partners within that evolving space. This is a very vital category and we will continue to invest and be part of this dynamic ecosystem.”


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