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Google just doubled down on Wear OS in a major way

Google has announced it is purchasing some of the intellectual property behind smartwatches made by the Fossil Group.

The tech giant is paying $40 million (around £30m) in the deal, which will also result in some of Fossil’s research and development team moving to Google.

There’s little in the way of specifics here, but it appears Google’s deal is very reminiscent of its accord with HTC. That saw members of the smartphone company’s hardware team shift to Google work on Pixel devices.

Whether this new Fossil deal means we can expect more in the way of Google-made Wear OS smartwatches remains to be seen. It could just be that the Fossil team will assist Google with the further development of Wear OS, in the battle with Apple’s watchOS platform.

Related: Best smartwatch 2019

Stacy Burr, VP of product management for Wear OS said: “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.

“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, which is the most active maker of Wear OS devices, says the deal will help it improve upon the potential of its platform.

“Fossil Group has experienced significant success in its wearables business by focusing on product design and development informed by our strong understanding of consumers’ needs and style preferences,” said Greg McKelvey, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Digital Officer, Fossil Group.

“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.”

The deal is expected to close before the end of this month.

Do you think this means more Made By Google watches running Wear OS? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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