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Pixel Watch? Google buys $40 million worth of Fossil Smartwatch technology

AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
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A Pixel Watch has to be imminent, right?

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/17/google-to-buy-fossil-smartwatch-tech-for-40-million.html


Stephen Lam | Reuters
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks onstage during the annual Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2018.
Fossil is selling $40 million of smartwatch technology to Google, the company announced on Thursday.

Shares of Fossil jumped about 8 percent on the news.

Fossil is one of the primary brands that continues to build smartwatches that run Google's Wear OS software, which competes with the Apple Watch but has struggled to gain mass adoption among consumers. But Fossil said that smartwatches are its fastest growing category.


"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," said Stacey Burr, Vice President of Product Management, Wear OS by Google.

Fossil said the transaction is expected to close in January.
 

co.ag.2005

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Jun 17, 2009
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I'm definitely interested to see where this goes.

Droid-Life had an update that included a little more information
https://www.droid-life.com/2019/01/...ent-smartwatch-tech-to-google-for-40-million/
UPDATE: The folks at Wareable were given additional details that sound quite spicy.

The tech purchased by Google is something Fossil created after buying Misfit and is a product “that has features and benefits that aren’t in the category today,” according to Greg McKelvey, an EVP with Fossil Group.

Google’s Stacey Burr, the VP of product management of Wear OS, added that they “saw some technology that [Fossil] 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.” In other words, Google bought this tech to be able to bring it to more Wear OS watches and not have it just be a Fossil exclusive.
 
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tbayrgs

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Maybe but this doesn’t solve the biggest problem with Wear OS right now—no competitive CPUs. What Qualcomm offers is nowhere remotely close to what Apple and even Samsung have for their platforms.
 
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pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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Doubt it. The problem lies with Qualcomm, whose wearable platform is using ancient hardware. Nothing much Google can do there.
Google did this to get the patents, just like they did with Motorola. They might do a hardware or two, but Google is intrinsically a software company. They will spit out the company just like they did with Motorola.
 
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Macalicious2011

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May 15, 2011
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Nothing much Google can do there.

They have to do something because the Apple Watch cannot be ignored. It’s probably the most innovative device in tech and is where real innovation is happening unlike with the iPhone and iPad are undergoing incremental improvements.

Most crucially, the iWatch is Apples most powerful loyalty tool. I foresee users starting to upgrade their Apple watches more frequently than they do their iPhone.

By the end of next year I foresee the cellular iWatch having game changing battery and other features that will make it an irresistible device. My GF has upgraded from a S6 Edge Plus to a XR + Series 3 Apple Watch and I have been amazed by the number of times she calls me from the watch and how less frequently she picks up her phone.

I would love a benchmarking smartwatch by Google.
 
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Zenithal

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Sep 10, 2009
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Doubt it. The problem lies with Qualcomm, whose wearable platform is using ancient hardware. Nothing much Google can do there.
Google did this to get the patents, just like they did with Motorola. They might do a hardware or two, but Google is intrinsically a software company. They will spit out the company just like they did with Motorola.
You are aware Google's been hiring chip architecture engineers in an effort to develop their own SoC, right? Google even poached a few of Apple's and Qualcomm's chip designers. Google developed their own chip for the Pixel line for image processing. No one even knew Google had developed TPU chips until years after the fact. They keep a tight ship until they're ready to tell the media.

Yes, Google is mostly a software company. They can, however, buy up whomever they want and dump billions upon billions in R&D for hardware development.

Best way to look at it is Google's been doing it behind the scenes for years. Apple recently announced they're putting a team together to make their own modems. Who's to say Apple didn't start years ago? Let's not forget that Apple didn't do everything from scratch. They bought up flash companies. They bought up software companies, hardware manufacturers. Semiconductor designers, et al.
 
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AustinIllini

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Intel and Qualcomm are really messing this up. Letting Apple develop a chip isn't a big deal. They tend to keep their technology to themselves. However, the more of these large companies that develop chip arms, the more likely one of them is to start selling to smaller OEMs. No wonder Qualcomm is on the offensive.
 
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Zenithal

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Sep 10, 2009
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Intel and Qualcomm are really messing this up. Letting Apple develop a chip isn't a big deal. They tend to keep their technology to themselves. However, the more of these large companies that develop chip arms, the more likely one of them is to start selling to smaller OEMs. No wonder Qualcomm is on the offensive.
A lot of the issue with Qualcomm is that they don't really have to innovate processors much since they're the defacto supplier. With Intel, they were late in the game, pulled out too soon and went down a path of stupidity thanks to Krzanich. No one even knew Google had developed various chips to speed up their internal work or on their phones until someone pointed it out. I think I read they went from design to mass production on their 1st gen tensor units in about 15 months, granted they began poaching specialists in 2014. Those 1st gens are faster than most of the competition who are more established. They made their own image processor for their Pixel phones. I can only suspect they'll develop SoC and it may somehow tie into Fuchsia which is rumored to replace Android or most of Android.

Alas, everything is up in the air. What I do suspect is there is a Google funded company that's buying up fabless chip companies, hiring architects, purchasing component and software companies, etc. under a discreet company that they'll keep separate or later merge with Alphabet.

As I said when it was announced, for all we know Apple began their work on their own modem years ago. Companies like MS, Google, Apple, etc. tend to have secret divisions that few know about; like Skunkworks.
 
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AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
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A lot of the issue with Qualcomm is that they don't really have to innovate processors much since they're the defacto supplier. With Intel, they were late in the game, pulled out too soon and went down a path of stupidity thanks to Krzanich. No one even knew Google had developed various chips to speed up their internal work or on their phones until someone pointed it out. I think I read they went from design to mass production on their 1st gen tensor units in about 15 months, granted they began poaching specialists in 2014. Those 1st gens are faster than most of the competition who are more established. They made their own image processor for their Pixel phones. I can only suspect they'll develop SoC and it may somehow tie into Fuchsia which is rumored to replace Android or most of Android.

Alas, everything is up in the air. What I do suspect is there is a Google funded company that's buying up fabless chip companies, hiring architects, purchasing component and software companies, etc. under a discreet company that they'll keep separate or later merge with Alphabet.

As I said when it was announced, for all we know Apple began their work on their own modem years ago. Companies like MS, Google, Apple, etc. tend to have secret divisions that few know about; like Skunkworks.
Qualcomm is unique because they have a patent troll division.
 
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Michael Goff

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Intel and Qualcomm are really messing this up. Letting Apple develop a chip isn't a big deal. They tend to keep their technology to themselves. However, the more of these large companies that develop chip arms, the more likely one of them is to start selling to smaller OEMs. No wonder Qualcomm is on the offensive.

I am not sure I'd say the poor offerings from Qualcomm in wearables is them being on the offensive.
 
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Awesomesince86

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I've tried a couple of Wear OS devices but never really had the desire to keep them. Maybe for someone who uses the exercise functions or someone that doesn't always have their phone available it's nice to have.

I've also never tried an Apple watch for from everything I read it still sounds like they're vastly Superior to the Wear OS and Tizen offerings.
 
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tbayrgs

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Jul 5, 2009
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I've tried a couple of Wear OS devices but never really had the desire to keep them. Maybe for someone who uses the exercise functions or someone that doesn't always have their phone available it's nice to have.

I've also never tried an Apple watch for from everything I read it still sounds like they're vastly Superior to the Wear OS and Tizen offerings.

The Wear OS ecosystem is a hot mess right now both in hardware and software. I've owned a few Wear OS devices in the past (when it was still called Android Wear) and none approached the experience of the Apple Watch. I won't consider another Wear OS product until there are far better CPUs and greater visible initiative from Google showing they're not leaving it for dead like they have done with so many of their projects in the past.
 
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GrumpyMom

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Sep 11, 2014
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I’ve only tried and liked Tizen with Android. But the hardware has always been too bulky for me.
 
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JennyBright

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Jul 16, 2019
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Let's just hope that one day we will see a pixel watch. And if it comes true - that it has some great hardware and software sides.
 
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