With an eye of increasing its presence in the wearable technology industry, US tech and search engine giant Google has announced the acquisition of the smart watch technology of Fossil Group Inc. in a deal that would be worth 40 million U.S. dollars.
Founded in 1984, the Fossil Group is an American fashion designer and manufacturer. In addition to the assets of the company, Fossil would also be selling off all of the intellectual property (IP) that it has already developed and is also currently developing in relation to smartwatch technology under the deal, the company said. The companies said that they expect the deal to be closed by the end of this month.
“As part of the transaction, a portion of Fossil Group’s research and development (R&D) team currently supporting the transferring IP will join Google,” said the company based in Richardson, Texas.
The deal also entails the retaining of a strong group of more than 200 employees of the Fossil Group who are closely engaged with teams in research and development so that the company would be able to continue with its focus on the process of innovation and product development. Fossil also added that the shared investment with Google in the wearable industry is also showcased by the deal.
“Wearables, built for wellness, simplicity, personalization and helpfulness, have the opportunity to improve lives by bringing users the information and insights they need quickly, at a glance,” Wear OS Vice President Stacey Burr at Google said.
“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,” Burr added.
The Fossil brand is amongst the major brands that are still engaged in the continued manufacturing of smartwatches that are based on Google’s Wear OS software. Market watchers believe that driver for the deal for Google that this brand could be set up as a strong competitor for the Apple Watch which would shake up the wearable devices industry.
The wearable smart watches have turned out to become the fastest growing product category of the company in a short period of time, Fossil said.
“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 at Fossil Group.
(Adapted from Xinhuanet.com)