Fossil's secret smartwatch sauce may mean no Pixel Watch this year
The publication Business Insider has posted a new report on smartwatches at Google, their history and their development to date. However, the most potentially prevalent message contained within it is an assertion that it has not resulted in a finished product ready for launch alongside the Pixel 4 series of phones in October 2019. This may be linked to the company Fossil and the intellectual property it sold to the Mountain View company for US$40 million in January.
This technology may have made its own debut in new devices up for preorder through the same watchmaker. They are known as the Fossil Collider DIANA series. The term DIANA, which also crops up in the Business Insider report, is an acronym meaning "digital and analog".
It refers to watches with e-ink screens overlaid with a physical, handed face. This, then, is what Google may have paid its multi-millions for - even though the seller apparently retains the right to impose its branding on the new hybrid wearable category.
Accordingly, the report now suggests that the eventual first-gen Pixel Watch may also be a DIANA device, and may thus not use Wear OS. The report also claimed that this is not the first time such a product has been derailed.
It includes a story from 2016 in which Google had been in the final stages of developing an own-brand watch, in conjunction with the manufacturer LG this time. However, Rob Osterloh, then just starting out as the company's Head of Hardware, decided to pull the plug on this project: apparently, its products were simply not Pixel enough.
In other words, their design did not uphold the principle that any device made by Google would have such a confluence and consistency that they could easily be recognized as such by consumers. Furthermore, Osterloh allegedly maintained that the watches could even damage the brand should they be released under its name, and did not sync well enough with the corresponding smartphones in any case.
However, the products in question did see a release in the end - as the LG Watch Sport and Watch Style (Google apparently needed some devices with which to introduce Android Wear 2.0). Therefore, it now appears that the new Pixel Watch, should one truly be in the works, will not be released until its maker deems it perfect...and that may not have happened yet.