Acquisition will help Fossil add wearable technology to future watches
Wristwatch producer Fossil is expanding its wearable device holdings, by acquiring fitness tracker company Misfit. The purchase, totaling $260 million as a combination of cash and bank debt, effectively gives Fossil another route into the wearable device market, with the manufacturer said to be planning to integrate Misfit's technology with its own watches and accessories next year to produce fashionable wearable items.
Unofficial replica faces being blocked from download sites
A number of major watch brands have been sending cease-and-desist notices to websites and individuals claimed to be offering smartwatch copies of trademarked or copyrighted name-brand watch faces without permission, a report says. Some smartwatches -- particularly ones based on Android Wear -- offer the ability to load custom face designs. A few people have been creating ones based on existing watches, however, triggering copyright and trademark complaints.
Meta Watch bought by former Nokia exec
Meta Watch started off the week with word that it had been bought out from Fossil. The smartphone companion watch creator was being bought by an investor group led by previous Nokia executive Juha Pinomaa as well as former Fossil technology heads Bill Geiser and David Rosales. The now separate company would work out of Dallas but appropriately would have a research wing in Espoo, Finland, near Nokia's headquarters.
Watches expected to arrive in September
Fossil's MetaWatch wristwatches have been approved by the FCC, despite the company's recent admission that the devices are facing production delays. The Commission tested the watches' Bluetooth capabilities, which enable communication with Android smartphones, tablets or other devices. TI's ultra-low-power chips are also paired with white-on-black OLED displays, a three-axis accelerometer, ambient light sensor and vibrating motor.
Company explains production issues
Fossil has announced that its MetaWatch connected wristwatches are facing yet another delay, pushing the expected launch window into September. The company has acknowledged several production "hiccups" that have stalled the project, including a software problem that affected connections to the micro USB interface. The steel case bodies for the analog version also needed to be reworked and polished to resolve a separate quality issue.
Watch integrates Bluetooth, TI processor
Texas Instruments and Fossil have disclosed fresh details surrounding the Meta Watch, a "wearable development system" that is designed to connect with smartphones and other devices. The watches, which were first previewed in March at an HP event, will be available in two flavors, including an analog option with a tonneau case and an all-digital variant with a rectangular shape.
Fossil shows Bluetooth watches with phone link
Fossil's Watch Technology VP Bill Geiser in an interview with Robert Scoble posted on Thursday showed a pair of watches that would intelligently pull information from smartphones. The prototypes talk to the phone over Bluetooth and get information that would work on a small grayscale LCD, such as calendars, weather and notifications for unaddressed calls, e-mail and SMS. Even non-essentials such as Twitter mentions could appear, he said, although the limited resolution would cut off information on many updates.
Sony Ericsson BT watches
Sony Ericsson on Wednesday announced it will supplement its menís line of MBW-150 Bluetooth watches with a womenís line called the MBW-200. Made in conjunction with watchmaker Fossil, the timepieces use Bluetooth to connect with compatible handsets and display caller ID and vibrate when the phone is ringing or a text message is received. Users can then mute or reject the call via the watch. Either of the three distinctly styled timepieces will also act as a remote control for the music playing from the handset.
Microsoft SPOT Gone
Microsoft has quietly shut down its MSN Direct services for SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) Smart Watches, effectively ending the concept, according to a statement from MSN Direct program manager Jon Canan. The company says it and companies making the watches, such as Fossil, no longer have plans to develop a new version of the Smart Watch platform and now intend only to support existing products and pushing data to the watches, which can display weather and other small data wirelessly without the bulk of a larger device.