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Google is buying Fossil’s smartwatch tech for $40M (techcrunch.com)
246 points by toufiqbarhamov 59 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 173 comments



UX discussion here. Is there any UX/design/functional reason to have a round watch face on a smartwatch? Analog watches were round to fit the display technology available at the time, the watch dial, which is inherently round. RGB pixel displays are naturally rectangular.

My wife thinks that even the smallest latest Apple Watch is way too large for a watch. I wonder if there's some matter of comfort in a relatively flat backed round form factor for a watch? A relatively thick rectangle with a rounder back is going to have a center of mass that is further away from the wrist. It comprises a very small cantilever, which is still quite large on the scales of the traditional watch. (By something like a factor of 3 or so.) The slightly taller rectangular shape will also tend to funnel the motion such a cantilever experiences in an arc parallel to the forearm. None of this was at all an issue for most traditional watches, simply because they were much flatter.

Something has always bothered me about Apple Watches when trying them out in the store, and I think it's this. They're not bulky, but there's something about them which seems to keep them from disappearing from my awareness. Even my dad's old Rolex, which isn't huge, but isn't small for a watch, seems to sit on my wrist more comfortably. Even the Tag Heuer, which I think is a bit too big, seems to sit more comfortably on my wrist. Even the big old school watches just didn't have this stick-out-y character.


> UX discussion here. Is there any UX/design/functional reason to have a round watch face on a smartwatch? Analog watches were round to fit the display technology available at the time, the watch dial, which is inherently round. RGB pixel displays are naturally rectangular.

Ex-Lead UI developer from the ex-Microsoft Band here.

UX wise, rectangular and square form factors make a lot more sense for the types of media consumption smartwatches are used for. Every time I see a text message clipped on the sides with only 3 lines showing on a huge circular display, I cry a little inside.

Apple went with square-ish for a lot of good reasons.

You can do some cool, innovative, and impressive looking things with circular form factors of course, especially when it comes to graphical displays of data. But humans are very bad at judging magnitudes in pie shape forms, and at the end of the day, a lot of information is textual. This limits you.

> My wife thinks that even the smallest latest Apple Watch is way too large for a watch.

Honestly the Microsoft Band being worn on the underside of the wrist was brilliant (I may be biased). It is much easier to hold up in a comfortable reading position, and the dual body design meant the mass was split across the top and bottoms of the wrist.

The problem of course was fitting all those electronics in a much narrower form factor. The entire device ended up being too wide for some people's wrists. At the end of the day, all those electronics and sensors, and of course the display, had to go somewhere.

In regards to the article, I'm guessing Google is buying a team for the factory contracts, supply chains, and perhaps the ME/EE talent. Having all of that come in one big package is nice, building up those supplier relationships especially can take years of painful miscommunication.


I just want to reply to say I had a Band and a Band 2 and absolutely loved them both. Durability issues aside with the strap of the Band 2, it was such a fantastic wearable. I found it superior to the Apple Watch. I have an Apple Watch now but how I feel about it doesn't compare to the affinity I used to feel for my Bands.

That the Band seemed geared towards wear on the inside of the wrist helped make it feel both more futuristic and more comfortable. And the tile UI was so well suited to the screen size.

I was so disappointed when MS gave up on the Band. You guys did a great job on it.


Seconded. I really miss my Band 2.

The whole UI was incredibly well designed for the form factor. The app design guide was a very good read. I also liked how it wasn't trying to pretend to be a normal watch but with a screen.

I dabbled with Android smartwatches for a bit after, but they never were able to scratch the same itch.


Wow, really? For me it was awful, the buckle was huge, uncomfortable, frustrating.


>> media consumption smartwatches are used for

Huh? Smartwatches aren't used for "media consumption". I primarily use my Series 4 Apple watch as a watch and heart/activity monitoring device.

I do think the rectangular form factor is better in a watch, but this comment may reveal why Apple is crushing everybody else: they understood the user and sold that user a _watch_ rather than a "media consumption" device.

>> Microsoft Band being worn on the underside of the wrist was brilliant

Another misunderstanding of what watches are about. They're on the upper side of one's wrist because they're also a fashion accessory. That's how you get to charge $450 per unit sold.


There are 3 broad categories of customers who buy wrist mounted wearables:

1. People who want a tech accessory. Apple does a good job at this, some of the other boutique smart watches do a good job at this.

2. Productivity users, people who want to be reminded of their meetings, have a useful voice control no matter where their phone is at, be able to triage messages as they come in, screen phone calls without taking their phone out, and everyone who has a Fear Of Missing Out. IMHO the Microsoft Band was best of class at this when it came out and kept in the running for quite awhile.

3. Fitness users, these users run a gamut from "how many steps did I take today" to "I train 5 days a week and I want all the data ready to analyze!". Band was originally envisioned to cater to people who had outgrown simple step counters and wanted something more. We weren't a $500 Garmin device, but Band was literally designed for users who wanted good heart rate measurements (chest strap will always be the best), GPS tracking on runs, and a companion for Crossfit classes.

> That's how you get to charge $450 per unit sold.

Garmin sells $500 units that you can take on a week long hike, get lost with, and they'll lead you back out on day 5.

The target audience for those vs the Apple Watch is of course much different! It is a completely different product, the commonality is in some overlap of functionality, and the fact that they are both worn on the wrist.

Or to put it another way, I and some friends, would wear our bands to boxing practice.

Not an Apple Watch use case. :)


Category #4 is people who want a nice looking watch that feels like a _watch_ and _is_ a watch first and foremost, but also does all of that "health" stuff better than anything else and shows notifications. This category describes me.

This is, apparently, the category that Microsoft wasn't even aware of. :-)

>> Garmin sells $500 units

The question is, how does their volume (and revenues, and mindshare) compare to those of Apple Watch? I've recently seen a statistic that Watch is now a bigger business than iPod ever was.


Category #5 Folks who want to show off they got a $500 watch

Category #6 The only watch that I can wear and go to a party full of Rolex guys and still feel more modern.


I feel dorky as hell wearing it around a casio. You must have some swagger, or even dorkier friends.


IMO, I want everything is not really a category.

The Apple Watch certainly skimps on Battery life and can feel unwieldy to wear.

It in many ways, falls squarely into #1. It not being too shabby at #2 and #3 makes Apple Watch 4 the best smart watch on the market, but that is not why it sells.

Apple commands a SUPREME-esque brand value and the first couple of Apple Watch versions sold in millions despite being a clear #1 type of smart watch. ie. a fashion accessory.


> Category #4 is people who want a nice looking watch that feels like a _watch_ and _is_ a watch first and foremost, but also does all of that "health" stuff better than anything else and shows notifications. This category describes me.

Sure, but technology has its limits!

Battery tech is a huge one right now.

But, let's take the UV sensor as an example. The Microsoft Band was one of the first mass market consumer wearables to have a UV sensor on it (there were dedicated devices that beat it to market, barely).

Now UV is hard to work with in that a lot of transparent materials (lens) block it. UV sensors also aren't small, and they need to be positioned in a place that'll get a lot of exposure if the user is in the sun.

That is how the Band ended up with its UV sensors on its back[0]. It isn't pretty, but if we wanted to make a useful sun exposure feature (and we did!), that sort of sensor placement becomes needed.

It took the mechanical engineering team a lot of work to get a precisely placed UV sensor, with a proper lens material on front of it, calibrated to measure UV in a way that is relevant for human exposure, at a cost that can go into a mass market consumer product.

Size is another issue. At launch, Band's main body was actually thinner than anything else in its feature class, but still every reviewer complained about how thick it was!

> This is, apparently, the category that Microsoft wasn't even aware of. :-)

We were aware, but leadership consciously made the choice to not go after that market.

To put it in perspective, Apple has reportedly sank well over a billion dollars into the Apple Watch, they are on generation 4, and yet it is still not a perfect device that does everything for everyone. (And being Apple, I imagine that isn't their goal.)

Honestly technology just isn't there yet. Batteries are too big, sensors are too power hungry, screens are too power hungry, and the electronics take up too much room. (And GPS antennas aren't shrinking much, laws of physics and all that!)

It is like those fold out smartphones everyone wants. Just unwrap it like a scroll.

I've actually seen, played with, screens that you can unwrap. They are super cool. All the technology that goes around those screens, well... CPUs are less flexible than OLEDs.

[0]https://www.alphr.com/sites/alphr/files/styles/insert_main_w...


>> It is like those fold out smartphones everyone wants. Just unwrap it like a scroll.

Along with "transparent" displays you see in Avengers movies, this is something nobody _actually_ wants. It looks cool as a render, but it's completely impractical, and if the product like this existed and someone bought it, they'd take it back to the store the same day and get a refund. "Design is how it works".


UV sensor was really the only thing that drew me to the Microsoft Band

may I ask who the supplier of your sensor was in the end ?


I consider myself in a category waiting to be served. The only features I care about are health monitoring. I was initially excited about the Apple Watch because of the rumored health features, but very few made it to the final product.

To be clear, I don’t mean fitness tracking - I don’t care about that. I mean all the other variables that a device on my wrist could track that could be vital to preemptive diagnosis or explaining a new issue. The need to charge the watch nightly was a total dealbreaker - many of the variables I want to track are during my sleep.

All the other watch features are worthless to me - I have my phone for those. I want a “watch” to focus/differentiate on the things only a device attached to my skin 24/7 can do.


Well in my experience, charging the Apple Watch takes about half an hour, about the time it takes to prepare in the morning. If you rather require 100% coverage, how about buying two watches? I think that redundancy might be your answer. There even is an Apple support page about it: https://support.apple.com/HT205792


This is when the Amazefit Blip and the related Xiomi smart watch is having 15days operating time between battery recharges. There are some garmin bands which does not require recharging, because it runs on two watch type button cells which will last 6 months +.


This sounds really good. If one rather likes to stick with Apple's ecosystem, an exchangable or external battery could help much, too.


This is insanity. Just buy a FitBit!


> They're on the upper side of one's wrist because they're also a fashion accessory.

Apple watch is the ugliest possible watch to wear if you want to wear it as a fashion accessory, non-smart watches are fashion accessories. Apple Watch is just less ugly than most of the other smartwatches, but it's still ugly as a fashion accessory


I disagree (and so does Hodinkee). I think it's understated and beautiful, and half a dozen of my other watches (some pretty expensive) have been collecting dust.

But even if I were to agree, it also happens to be the best looking "smart" watch on the market by quite a wide margin, by far not the ugliest looking watch overall, and the only one that doesn't scream "I'm a computer" at you.

You don't have to run faster than the bear, you only have to run faster than the next slowest guy.


To me the it just looks like a screen hooked to a acceptable wristband.

Because that's what it is.

A completely different world from a beautiful watch.

The "fashion accessory" factor is related to the iPhone popularity: it's a relatively expensive status symbol with the Apple boost.


That's probably because you don't own one. There are dozens of small details which make it unquestionably a watch, and which no manufacturer other than Apple can even see as significant, not to mention replicate.


Compared to most Android Wear devices Apple Watch is way closer to a phone than a watch...


That fails when the quantities fall below a certain threshold. If the two people are slow enough, both of them may get eaten by the bear.


That’s fashion for you. https://imgur.com/a/FXEqCCm


Notice that it's showing the "pairing" swarm code, meaning it's not initialized. Dude is wearing it just to show off the watch. :-)


Dude is wearing it because Apple paid him a sizeable amount to wear it, I reckon. ;)


I don't believe Apple would do such a thing. Whenever you see Apple products in movies and elsewhere, those aren't product placements.


Of course Apple would never do such a thing. They're an R&D company first and foremost.


> this comment may reveal why Apple is crushing everybody else: they understood the user and sold that user a _watch_ rather than a "media consumption" device.

On the flip side, if Apple isn't crushing everybody else, it's because they misunderstood typical users and thought they wanted a tiny phone on the wrist, rather than a watch.

Disclosure: Fitbit employee, but I don't speak for Fitbit. My opinion that Apple isn't crushing everybody else isn't based on any inside info, but on the article below that reported that less than half of Holiday 2017 Apple Watch sales were the then-current model. Most of their sales were discounted old inventory, so usually they didn't get to charge $450 per unit sold.

https://investorplace.com/2018/02/holiday-apple-watch-sales-...


> On the flip side, if Apple isn't crushing everybody else, it's because they misunderstood typical users and thought they wanted a tiny phone on the wrist, rather than a watch.

I think Apple didn't really have a strong focus in their original vision for Apple Watch, and threw stuff on the wall to see what would stick; the same was true for users who expected an iPhone on their wrist. However, it quickly became clear what Apple Watch was good for and what it didn't do well, so, recognizing that, Apple Watch has started selling quite well.


Where did you see this statistic in the article?: "the article below that reported that less than half of Holiday 2017 Apple Watch sales were the then-current model."

The only place where they do any such split is the graph and it shows total number of units sold in 2015-2017.


"Canalys says Apple Watch sales for the holiday quarter alone were 8 million, and nearly half of those were the new Apple Watch Series 3 — which we’ve already pegged as a game-changer."


> On the flip side, if Apple isn't crushing everybody else, it's because they misunderstood typical users and thought they wanted a tiny phone on the wrist, rather than a watch.

They understood their target demographic perfectly, and are making a product for them.

They "misunderstood typical users" so badly, apparently, that they sold more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry combined. I wish I could misunderstand my typical users as bad as Apple does.


> I primarily use my Series 4 Apple watch as a watch and heart/activity monitoring device.

I'm honestly confused as to why you didn't just buy a FitBit? The batteries last longer, they're lighter and more comfortable, and they're much cheaper.

> Another misunderstanding of what watches are about. They're on the upper side of one's wrist because they're also a fashion accessory.

Oh, I see...


Privacy. Fitbit logs to their online platform, and Apple logs to your phone.


That $450 isn’t a “fashion” price. There is a lot of expensive tech in those watches.


Thanks for all the insight.

You probably know the "drivers watches" from the seventies, which had the display at the side of the watch that faces towards you when holding a steering wheel (search for "Bulova driver's watch"). I think it would be great to get something similar again for smartwatches. A small display at the side of the watch, showing the time or some indicators. This display would be visible without rotating the wrist and make it much easier to get status information.

In addition there would still be the large display on top. Combined screen size would be even bigger without increasing the size of the watch.


If ever there was a place for a curved OLED, a smartwatch is it. Along with a slight rotation off the center of the wrist, as you mentioned, this would be the great next thing in wrist-strapped devices, IMHO. If it had a SIM I might ditch my smart phone altogether.


Those Drivers' Watches were clever but were an invented need much like Pilots' Watches; the actual pros mostly use a plurality of clocks on the console of their vehicle, not an expensive little fragile mechanism on their wrist.

Somehow though Pilots' Watches have survived as a lucrative luxury item. An actual navigator's watch is primarily a stopwatch. The pilot doesn't need much more than a Casio.


See also dive watches.


Why? They look normal.


They're luxury items almost entirely divorced from what divers actually use.


Yes! The rectangular display on the underside of the wrist was brilliant!

Having gone from MS Band 2 to Apple Watch to Samsung G3 to Fitbit Charge, MS Band has been my favorite.

My single complaint was the how invariably the band would begin to break away from the display over normal use. Also, battery life could have been better...

I'd still buy one if MS decided to produce a 3rd iteration. A Fitbit Charge with the under wrist style display would be great as well...


> Also, battery life could have been better...

Battery life was provably as good as it could be!

There was one sensor that wasn't fully optimized, working on it could've added maybe 4 or so hours to the battery life (up to 8 if all the best case most optimistic estimates came through), but other than that OS architecture of the Band ensured optimal battery life.

Having that many sensors, and a screen that bright, on a device that small, just sucks up battery.

For what it is worth (nothing!), if the majority of health sensors were turned off, and the Band was only used as for productivity, the battery could easily last over 3 days. That is if memory serves me correct. :) (I'm wearing one right now, but I'm too lazy to turn everything off and come back in a few days to comment!)


> ...just sucks up battery.

Some Cambridge folks figured out how to convert ATP into (extremely small amounts of) electricity [1].

If you had a route from extracting lipids in the bloodstream, to feeding it to mitochondria in some kind of controlled culture, carry away the carbon dioxide, heat and water, then extract and feed the ATP to the aforementioned Cambridge process, then you might be able to power your wearable tech from your bad eating habits. That 5,000 calorie chocolate volcano cheesecake death-on-a-dish now gets a "hh:mm" advertised next to it. Militaries around the world will then be faced with adding more calories to their already-calorie-loaded rations. Corn farmers in the US will rejoice.

Thank goodness that route I described is not anywhere near feasibility in the next several decades. I'm dubious our ecosystem could sustain that kind of demand for more food calories.

All said slightly tongue in cheek...

[1] https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/mrs-online-proceedin...


Why stop with vampiric devices? Let's just let them forage in the garden overnight:

https://www.wired.com/2001/10/slugbot-enemy-of-slugs/


Laptop batteries are something like 100 food calories.

So if your converter was anything but awful, it probably wouldn't be a big deal.


Sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant it more as a personal preference. Considering the sensors and screen, a 2 day battery life was pretty great and certainly one of the reasons it was (and still is) better than the Apple Watch and G3, IMO.

I just meant I value a longer battery life pretty highly. So, something like a MS Band "lite" with a less feature rich sensor package, a 2 tone oled display, and 6 to 7 day battery life would have hit that sweet spot for me, personally.

I really like being able to wear the Charge 3 around the clock for a full week (I typically charge it during my lazy Sunday morning routine) without really worrying about it.


Have you looked at the Garmin fitness bands? The first gen was something like you describe but could go for a year on a couple of coin cells. They probably have more/better ones now, that was several years ago.


This is the reason I still use a Pebble 2 smart watch, so I need to charge it once per week. For me the device is for displaying glucose values, so needing to charge it every day is not really an option.


I wanted a Band so badly, but it was clear Microsoft had abandoned it by the time I got around to it, so I passed. :(

I ended up picking up a Fitbit Ionic (though the newer Versa is now a clear improvement in almost every way) in part because it was one of the few truly cross-platform smartwatches that wouldn't tie me to a phone ecosystem. Windows Mobile support on it is still great, since they use a UWP app on desktop as well.

I actually flip my Ionic around my wrist when in the movie theater in particular (I see a lot of movies), so that it won't blind everyone if I move and my watch decides to light up.


They killed it just before it had a chance to start becoming a hit. I only found out that it was actually awesome and very extensible just as they were killing it. And I'm both switched on and core market for the development side.

Shame.


This is Microsoft's problem with just about everything they've done consumer-side. Windows 10 Mobile is still a fantastic platform that was well ahead of it's time (Android Q is rumored to add both dark mode and a desktop UI, which W10M has had for years), and was killed just big selling points like Continuum were ramping up. And Universal Windows Platform has been harshly deprioritized in favor of Electron despite the fact that we're still a year from Windows 7 (the primary compelling reason to use Electron over UWP for a PC app) going away. Edge's rendering engine performs better than Chrome, but just as it's starting to reach basic feature parity and stability, Microsoft is axing it in favor of switching to Chromium.

Microsoft also seemed to be leading the foldable device trend both with the Courier several years ago, and more recently, the Surface Andromeda, but then inexplicably decided to kill them both and wait for their competitors to beat them to it. I have a Windows phone that runs Android apps as well as Android does but Microsoft decided to scrap the feature. Watching Microsoft both come up with the best solution to a problem and then brutally murder it before anyone can use it is probably the most painful thing to watch in tech.


As someone that has spend a big time of my development projects on Microsoft platforms, I tend to think all those issues are side effects from internal politics.

Just when team X is about to score, they end up loosing management support, thus the product gets canned while others pick up the idea.


I agree. And the problem is, each time this cycle happens, the company burns any consumer goodwill it's worked to achieve. (You see the same frantic, uncommitted stance to products with new Google initiatives these days.)

It's easy to see and say "this product is costing us money and isn't popular enough", and fail to realize "killing products over and over means people aren't going to try our next one". Long term stable support of a product line, even if it's not a top seller, is what's going to earn you consumer trust.


Foldable is still alive in Microsoft.


Sure, but they missed their window to launch a new product category, and will be trying to compete with Android and its giant app library on day one.


Android is not having that much luck on anything besides phones, tablets are being slowly eaten by detachable laptops with good old Windows on them.

At least that is what I observe from the local dealers around my me.

So from that point of view Win32/UWP is also a giant app library.


> Honestly the Microsoft Band being worn on the underside of the wrist was brilliant (I may be biased). It is much easier to hold up in a comfortable reading position

I used to wear a watch every day to uni. It rested on the underside of my wrist, 'cause it made more sense to me. I also used to type a lot on my laptop, which rested on a flat table surface, when I was at the uni.

Every time I needed to type more than a few symbols, I had to take the watch off. Otherwise: KGHRRR GHRR GHRRR GHR-HR-HR, across the table surface, for everyone to hear. Let alone the pressing of damn-near-solid metal onto the backside of the wrist, where all of them good veins are.

Microsoft band looks about as thick as the watch I wore. Looks like it's lighter, its exterior being made of plastic. Must have had some weight and volume, still.

Was that ever in the process of discussion when making a smart watch?


Band 2 was a phenomenal piece of software contained in an atrocious piece of hardware, as evidenced by all the people whose Bands broke at the bracelet. I thought it was a tragedy. Band 2 was my favorite smart watch by a country mile, when mine still worked. It left all other products in the dust.

It's a shame the bracelet was so poorly designed. The thing was damn near perfect.


It was amazing that hardware even existed, it was a miracle of EE and ME work to get anything out the door in the time frames we had to work with.

How the entire project fell apart is one of those "If you're in my neck of the woods buy me a beer" stories.

Thanks for the complement on the software. :) Having a chance to help design and build an (RT)OS at that young age and then have Microsoft of all companies, ship it out was an incredible experience. The underlying RTOS has some really cool and innovative concepts in it, and it was the best environment I've ever programmed for.

I might be biased about the programming environment, since I was designed or helped design most of the foundational APIs. :-D

as a tl;dr, 256KB of RAM, complete async runtime, CPU was off most of the time as the DMA (direct memory access) engine did the majority of the work copying data around. The closest modern analog would be programming in nodeJS, which funny enough is exactly what I'm doing right now!


> 256KB of RAM, complete async runtime, CPU was off most of the time as the DMA (direct memory access) engine did the majority of the work copying data around

honestly? That's pretty badass. I really liked the band concept and how it tried to actually advance wearables instead of smush watch and phone together.


There was also some super slow external RAM off to the side that was used as a cache for static assets.

Other things Band did:

1. Real true type fonts.

2. East Asia Language support

3. Real Unicode (see 1 & 2)

4. Antialiased fonts

5. Real transparency/alpha blending

6. Particle effects engine

30 FPS on a 96Mhz CPU and a dumb framebuffer.

Writing a custom OS lets you do amazing things with minimal resources!


> Honestly the Microsoft Band being worn on the underside of the wrist was brilliant (I may be biased).

I think a lot of personal preference comes into this. I know some women who wear their (lighter) watches on the inside, I've never seen anyone with a bigger watch to this.

I just remember having a metal wristband that was just a little too loose and the watch body slipped to the inside of my wrist from time to time, and I hated that so much that I stopped wearing it until I got it shortened. It's not much but the weight distribution makes this horribly uncomfortable for me. Also it clanks against the desk while typing :P


Hi I was on the platform side. Some of the best times in my career :)


I just want to say, the band 2 was incredible in terms of design, usability and tech. I absolutely loved showing it off to everyone and having reminders about sunscreen and checking UV rays. Texting was actually pretty decent on a small form factor too.

The biggest downfall for me was the durability. I had my band 2 replaced so many times because the rubber kept coming away. If they could have fixed that, then it would hands down be the best smartwatch on the market.


Thanks a lot for everything you did with the Band!

Even if a S sized Band 2 was a bit too big (I wear size 6 gloves) I absolutely loved the Band, and yes I wore it on the underside of the wrist.

I only let it go when it got the tearing disease.


As a fellow band 1/2 upside down wearer I absolutely concur


It's all aesthetics/fashion.

There should be round watches and square/rectangular watches the same way there should be both gold and silver, both sporty and fancy, both digital and analog.

People like to express themselves in what they wear. A big part of your watch isn't just when you look at it, but when others see it on your wrist. What is it saying about you?

If you're a guy, one interpretation is that round means you're more of a classic dude, while square means you're more modern. The same way gold means you're more show-offy while silver says understated. Sporty says you might need to go for a run after this, while fancy means you're more likely to have expensive dinner reservations. None of these need to be true, but they're what your watch is saying for you.

Obviously it's much more complex than this. And feel free to ignore it. But like it or not, your choice of accessories (for men, mainly watch, shoes and bag) wind up saying a lot about you, which is why they necessarily come in so many variations.


I think it's all aesthetics.

While iPhones are sleek and stylish, the only thing that they are replacing are convergent previous technology devices without much stylistic precedence (unless you count the late 90s early 2000s "slightly ergonomic plastic" as a style) so nobody puts up much of a fuss. The Apple Watch is clearly an Apple designed product and it serves its function, but its replacing what has long been a style accessory with its own traditions and norms (particularly roundness), something you wear on your body and is visible to others at all times. When I see an Apple Watch, I don't think "Cool, that person has a smart watch.", I think "That's an ugly watch.". Round watch faces at least return to the classic shape.

My ideal smart watch would be round with mechanical arms and a mechanical crown, but with a color eInk dial/face with a high refresh rate (I'm not sure if there is current eInk tech which meets these specs yet). I do not want to look like I'm wearing a compass on my arm, though.

(I got curious, this is similar to what I'm describing, but still way too large and not quite the same: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gligo-e-ink-smartwatch-ha...)


When I see an Apple Watch, I don't think "Cool, that person has a smart watch.", I think "That's an ugly watch.". Round watch faces at least return to the classic shape.

I think you're onto something there.

My ideal smart watch would be round with mechanical arms and a mechanical crown, but with a color eInk dial/face with a high refresh rate (I'm not sure if there is current eInk tech which meets these specs yet). I do not want to look like I'm wearing a compass on my arm, though.

One of my coworkers has a rather large, round, positively can-like Android smart watch. I look at it, and think, That's way too thick for a watch. It has a flatter back, which I think is a plus.

Another thing I just realized: Traditional watches often attach to the wristband much closer to the wrist than many smart watches. This helps them "disappear" when being worn.


The best smart watch from a physical perspective is the Pebble Time Round, IMO. Just a shame the company went bust. And when they can't get the kind of OS-level hooks that Apple has the writing was always going to be on the wall.


Curved OLED is where it's at for smart watches.


"Smart Watches" remind me of the calculator watches engineers used to wear back in the day. It ended up being kinda sorta retro cool, but is incredibly nerdy.

There are very attractive square watches; Glashutte Original Senator 70s, Cartier Tank, Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso. Apple watch utterly fails at looking as good. It looks like a Dick Tracey TV-watch stuck on someone's wrist.

Otherwise I have no idea what one of these things is for, other than letting large corporations know about your heart rate. I like my ordinary Swiss and German watches; the engineering is fun to appreciate, they look kewul, give me something to nerd out about with salesguys that doesn't involve knowledge of sports, plus they tell me what time it is.


I really don't get the fascination for mechanical watches.

"engineering fun to appreciate"? Are you telling me you're thrilled to see a $4000 device (looking at the Jaeger Lecoultre) that will tell you the time (within a few seconds) if you remember to wind it up regularly?

I mean, you do you, by all means, but I don't get it.


I used to do experimental atomic physics, some of which involved a lot of time in the machine shop; small and well made mechanisms please me. Having one strapped to me is cool.

If you look at it and all you see is $4000 rather than the skill and artistry which went into designing and making it, well, have fun with your 'smart watch.' FWIIW I also like 80s era calculators and obscure slide rules. Knowing there is a technical improvement doesn't require you to use it.


> the skill and artistry which went into designing and making it

Well, sure there was skill and artistry involved. But there is skill and artistry involved in designing and building smart watches as well.

> FWIIW I also like 80s era calculators

Hopefully not to the point that you're carrying a $10000 TI-57 everywhere and swear that today's calculators just don't measure up to it...


There is zero individual skill and artistry that went into any smart watch that I know of. It's all soulless corporate excretions, just like most of the digital watches that were made in the quartz era (there are a few exceptions, like the Seiko spring drive).

If there were individual skill and artistry or even individual design or flair which went into them, they would be more interesting objects. It's theoretically possible to do. Nobody's really done it yet. I doubt anyone will for decades to come; the mindset that goes into a 'smart watch' is all wrong.


Ah yes, "soulless corporations", as opposed to the rich and soulful 30 year tradition of the holding company which owns A. Lange, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis, and Vacheron Constatin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richemont

Way to stick it to the Man by buying an overpriced set of gears from him!

You can see how much individual design is going on because each of these outfits puts their OWN name on the same basic product.

If you can't see any artistry and skill in the making of Apple Watch faces https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK7KPw9bLfI or their wrist straps https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/hodinkee-apple-watch-revie... then I don't know what "artistry" and "skill" are supposed to mean.


Those holding companies encourage artistry, mechanical excellence and beauty; they also sponsor some interesting sports. Apple doesn't do any of these things, and while I admire their apparent devotion to customer privacy -no comparison.

Re: your lack of understanding -at least you admit it! I mean why would anyone buy a sailboat or hand crafted knife? You can always buy some mass produced thing which is "better." Why buy a sports car when you can have a reliable honda? Why buy a pair of $600 Aldens when you can wear crocs? Heck, why buy a meal made by a human when you can drink soylent and live in your cube at work for more hours?

FWIIW I wouldn't buy any watches from those companies more or less because they're run by holding companies (maybe Jaeger), but they're a world cultural treasure for preserving this kind of artistry for middle class to upper middle class people to enjoy. Mostly subsidized by the Chinese trade, but whatever.


Now you're implying that a bigger marketing budget or a different marketing approach makes a company more worthy of your dollar than another.


No, I'm actually telling you why people buy antiquated devices like wristwatches. Or air cooled porsches. Or wooden sailing vessels. Or nice shoes (alden has a marketing budget of approximately zero). Some people really like craftsmanship rather than mass-produced utilitarian disposable garbage! Just because Glashutte Original is owned by swatch doesn't mean a heck of a lot; it used to be owned by the East German government. Still the same creative small company with a dedication to craftsmanship and tradition (admittedly it sucked under communism), rather than a trillion dollar company with a dedication to vacuuming up as much of your dollars as possible on the backs of slave labor.

FWIIW, as I said above: I do not buy watches from the "big" conglomorates (which, all together, are smaller than the ipad market). But I am glad they exist.

BTW I have a pocket watch which has been in my family since 1882. Try that with an apple watch and let me know how it goes.


First of all, I don't understand why you're getting down voted. Just because you have different opinion or you don't understand something?

And coming back your question: watch for man is a kind of jewellery, symbol of prestige, how wealthy you (your wallet) are. In some circles, people show it by having golden chains on the necks. In other by having "small", discreet details like cufflinks, sigils (if your family has aristocratic roots) and... watches.


I have a far cheaper automatic (mechanical auto-winding) watch, so maybe I can offer another perspective. I don't need to remember to wind it, though I do need to remember to wear it every few days so it auto-winds. The mechanism for this alone, with the rotor visible in the rear, is really fascinating to watch. There's something very satisfying about a watch operating solely dependent on mechanical precision rather than a digital computer.

Also, more generally, because it competes on craftsmanship rather than having the latest features, it won't be outdated in a few years as will every modern smartwatch. This changes how I look at it, because unlike with my smartphones or laptops, in the back of my mind I don't have a plan to eventually replace or upgrade it. It feels less... disposable.

I hope this helps illustrate my decision process a little. Obviously you may feel differently, but to me the feeling of consistency that I get from something that will be functional and repairable decades from now makes it a reasonably logical decision.


> The mechanism for this alone, with the rotor visible in the rear, is really fascinating to watch.

I can see the appeal of visible gears. But most mechanical watch aficionados seem to satisfy with the thought that the gears EXIST.

> it competes on craftsmanship

Not entirely sure what that means. It's not like smartwatches don't feature ingenuous engineering and quite a bit of manual assembly labor.

> it won't be outdated in a few years as will every modern smartwatch

That always seemed an exceedingly silly argument to me. Mechanical watches have been outdated for DECADES. By the 1980s, they were thoroughly outclassed in accuracy, functionality, and price.

Sure, in a few years, today's smartwatches will have been surpassed by better models, while odds are that the mechanical watch maker will, at best, have slapped a new paint scheme on the same old model. But in a few years, today's smartwatches will still outclass mechanical watches. And I don't see what's superior about stagnant technology.

> something that will be functional and repairable decades from now

For sufficiently small values of "functional", as apparently being off by 15 seconds a day is considered "well within their quality standards".

https://forums.watchuseek.com/f419/jaeger-lecoultre-watch-ac...


I'm definitely with you on the "Traditional watch" front. I was looking into smart watches recently and decided the so-called Hybrid Smartwatches were definitely more my style. I ended up getting a Nokia Steel HR. The display isn't eInk and it doesn't have a second hand, but it does fitness tracking and unobtrusive notifications, while still looking like a watch.

The Gligo looks good too, and I hope more hybrid manufacturers start making decent eInk watches, but it would honestly bother me having it display the time digitally under the analog hands.


HR user here. I'm very satisfied with the functionality, the fact that I can forget about the battery and that it's basically a normal watch with advanced functions. Most of my usage is for notifications and fitness.

What I'm not happy is that the 40 mm version is kinda ugly since the rim is too wide and that there's no two way communication so I can't change a song on my phone or decline a call.


Yeah, I would prefer if the eInk display was used to emulate the ticks and numbers of a more traditional watch dial than actually display the time. (For instance, I actually really like the classic Timex Expedition dial. It's not high-end, but it's simple and clean.)


Is it really smartwatch? I mean are you able to install some software there from Play Store for example?


It does not have an app store.

On the other hand, it monitors my step count, heart rate, and exercise sessions. It lets me set alarms that trigger during the lightest part of my sleep cycle, and it displays notifications from my phone.

It's certainly at least a smarter watch.

EDIT: And given how poorly optimised smart watches are for glancing at the time, and the constant need to charge them, I'd argue you can barely call those a "watch" :P


Begs the question: what is a smartwatch?


It's just a matter of what people are used to. In a few decades a round watch with mechanical arms will seem odd and ugly to most consumers. Style is always in flux.


I dunno, we've had digital watches with square faces and at least some additional functionality over analogue ones since the 70s and the consensus continues to be that the analogue watch faces look classier


Square watches do exist e.g. Cartier Santos and they do have ergonomic advantages. Smartwatches are not alone in the trend of watches being huge. Most watch brands have started making more 43mm+ size watches which I find far too large. Smartwatches also have it a little harder as well since it is going to be really hard to get much info on a screen at 40mm or smaller, especially when you cut off the corners. Most smartwatches are around 45mm, Apple making the smallest at 40mm, but I prefer watches that are in the 36mm - 39mm range.


Square watches do exist e.g. Cartier Santos and they do have ergonomic advantages.

Lots of square watches sort of disappear into their bands. They are flatter, and far less cantilever-y than the current Apple watches.


Don’t forget the classic 80’s Casio digital watches.


I am wearing one right now :)


Those are really easy to forget they're there!


Haha you’ve got a point there. We just couldn’t leave them out of the square watch discussion, could we?


Nitpick: Apple still sells the Series 3 which goes down to 38mm


The Series 3 is thicker though. I’ve heard the 40mm Series 4 feels smaller, or at the very least, similar.

EDIT: apparently the 40mm size is also just a lot closer to the 38 than 42, not right in between, due to how the numbers are rounded. Side by side photo here https://www.reddit.com/r/AppleWatch/comments/9iecba/38mm_vs_...


My wife still thinks those things are huge.


They're not bulky, but there's something about them which seems to keep them from disappearing from my awareness

It's like a wedding ring or any other piece of jewelry — you get used to it in short order.

I didn't wear an Apple Watch for a very long time because I though they were too bulky looking. But I got was as a gift, and failed to even notice it was there after just a few hours.

I assume an Apple Watch gains most of its size and shape to maximize battery space.

FWIW, an Apple Watch is less than half the size (and 1/10th the price!) of some of the watches worn by a certain class of "celebrities" these days.


I don’t know really what drove me to it outside of curiosity but I picked up the 4 last fall and I liked it almost immediately.

I use the silicon band when working out, otherwise I purchased a leather band for it.

I don’t notice the thickness or size at all, and I have the 44mm.

Rather I appreciate the size on my wrist. Thinner would be an improvement, but I don’t find anything aesthetically I pleasing about how it currently sits.

And regardless, the benefits that come with it are some that I use daily in tracking my excercise and performance progression, including my heart rate tracking and cool-down.

And like most Apple things when you’re just so completely tied into the ecosystem— it just works with my other devices.

And I relatively trust the privacy of my health data between the watch and my phone. So there’s that.

I can see how they wouldn’t be for everyone. And I still appreciate finer mechanical watches but they are much further out of my price range :)


I have a Huawei Watch (1st gen) [1], and have been using it nearly daily for a couple years now. I liked the round form factor because IMHO it looks nicer, and choose this one because at the time it was one of the few that didn't have the "flat tire" on the bottom.

It's thicker than my other (non-smart) watches, but not to an extent it's obtrusive in any way. I wear it most of the day and don't really notice it.

As far as the software part of the UX, a lot of it depends on what you do. I basically use my watch for a couple things:

* to tell the time, see my agenda and check the weather (all of which I can do from the watchface or 'home' screen) * to get notifications of meetings and messages (and sometimes reply with a quick 'yes' or 'no' type message)

I can see why reading text on a circular screen is theoretically sub-optimal, but in practice it's not really noticeable as you scroll through. I don't really read long messages on it -- I'm mostly skimming it to see if I can respond quickly now, or if I need to get out my phone/laptop to read and/or respond now. The vast majority of messages I get can wait, and being able to tell that with a glance of my wrist (almost zero interruption) is quite handy.

There's a bunch of other apps available of course, but I found there's just not many good use cases for why using the app on a tiny screen is worth saving the 5 seconds it takes to retrieve my phone from my pocket and unlock it.

I don't think this is an issue at all of round vs square screen, at least not for what I personally thing a smart watch is useful for. Most of my interactions with my watch last for under 10 seconds. If you're doing more intensive things (using it minutes at a time) then maybe there's merit to why a larger rectangular screen is more useful -- but frankly, you probably have a much larger, better and significantly more usable rectangular display in your pocket, so it seems silly to argue about the watch display.

[1] https://www.techwalls.com/huawei-watch-review-android-smartw...


I personally prefer round for the aesthetics. But that is probably just because I’ve been trained to think watches should be round. I’ve got a Garmin vivoactive 3 which I really like in terms of look and feel.


Same. I don't own one right now but have considered a smart watch, and only looked at the circular faces. While a smart watch is a new UI for spontaneously consuming information, it's always a fashion accessory when worn.


Pebble Time Round was exactly this and it was beautiful.

My wife would constantly get compliments on her rose gold edition from people in the street. The vast majority didn't even realize it was a smartwatch.


I cry inside every time I remember that pebble is gone. I've still got a time round but I dread the day it dies on me.


> A relatively thick rectangle with a rounder back is going to have a center of mass that is further away from the wrist. It comprises a very small cantilever, which is still quite large on the scales of the traditional watch.

Yeah, I think you've nailed it. I was going to mention the thickness of the Series 4, but it's far thinner than, say, an Omega Speedmaster.

To your point, traditional watches with sapphire backs also have prominent wrist presence, since the caseback domes outward similar to (but not as much as) Apple Watches.

Also consider that traditional watchbands connect to lugs that protrude from the watch body and often curve downward to follow your wrist. This also lowers the cantilever towards the wrist. Watches that do not do this (like the Nomos Club) have a much larger wrist presence, and the Apple Watch completely lacks lugs so that the band connects mid-body.


> Is there any UX/design/functional reason to have a round watch face on a smartwatch?

The circular functional bezel on a Gear S3 is nice bit of physical interface. It's primarily how I interface with my smartwatch.

Honestly, you're never going to get much utility out of a smartwatch. So aesthetics is the primary function of the device and round watches do tend to look better.


Yes. I have a Samsung Gear S2 Classic which I love. It has a round face with a rotating bezel which is a fabulous and intuitive user input device. (Just think of the functionality of the original classic iPod scrollwheel).

That wouldn't work with a square face, smooth rotation requires a round face.


I haven't used that watch so I'm by no means trying to compare, but Apple Watch does use turning the crown as an input device and that is obviously round and works well.


Without jest, I want someone to go big and bulky a la the Predator. As an experiment, some company will hopefully stop trying to build a watch, and embrace a full on computer utility. Imagine a flexible ereader screen where you could comfortably read a book, document, or email.


It sounds like you want a wrist strap for your phone.


Yeah, I almost want that. The phone should be a bit flatter (and ideally a bit curved to wrap around the wrist), then I think I would actually like to have it on the upper side of my forearm at all times.


The design reason for a circular watch is that it visually matches the many round things on a human (pupils, appendage cross sections, breasts, etc) more than the zero rectangular things on a human (front teeth maybe?)


> They're not bulky, but there's something about them which seems to keep them from disappearing from my awareness.

I've had the same impression. Could it be because of the symmetrically rounded edges that makes it look like it stands off your wrist, instead of an asymmetrical bevel to make it seem more like it "melts" into your wrist?

Plus, of course, that the screen winks on or off when it detects the "raise-to-wake" motion, so that 1) it's a much more deliberate gesture when you want to look at it and 2) it's a distraction in your peripheral vision when it's wrong.


In my opinion, a round screen on a smart watch is the ultimate skeuomorphism: sticking with a certain shape that is utterly impractical for most applications, just because mechanical counterparts are that shape.

Can't help wondering what the overlap is between round smart watch screen fanciers and people who slagged Apple for its past skeuomorphic excesses and dismiss their products as "fashion statements".

[I work for Apple, but not on the Watch or as a spokesperson].


I think Apple's decision to have a rectangular watch face was a major unforced error.

Here are two smart watches from 4 years ago: https://m.imgur.com/V9YZ5Kz

The Moto 360 looks beautiful and classy while the Apple watch looks like a cheap casio from the 80s


Round watches don’t get caught on clothing, or on other people/obstacles as you brush past.


Mainly aesthetics, if you prefer the analog watch faces then circular is also functional.

The corners on square watches protrude on small wrists and are more likely to be caught on or hit things.


The height is too large. It protrudes too far away from the wrist. Even a bigger face will feel less in-your-face if it’s more flush with your body.


Digital watches were all square or rectangular.

I had a calculator watch when I was a child, also rectangular.


Isn’t Fossil making it round to match with its leading analog offering?


Didn't Fossil buy Misfit for like $200M to start its smartwatch department?


Close: $260 million. Though it appears Fossil is only selling part of its portfolio (mostly IP plus some R&D) and they very much plan to continue producing smartwatches.

Curiously, it sounds like Misfit's involved in whatever it was that Google's interested in:

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/01/google-buys-40-milli...

> According to a [report](https://www.wareable.com/fossil/google-fossil-wear-os-smartw...) from Wareable, McKelvey stated the deal will bring about a "new product innovation that's not yet hit the market." This is reportedly based on technology that Fossil acquired from wearable company Misfit when it [bought the startup for $260 million](https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/11/fossil-acquires-misf...) back in 2015.

In the Wareable article, Google Wear VP Stacey Burr says they want to bring this unnamed technology to the wider Wear OS ecosystem.


$260M


I love my Fossil Q because it does one thing many other smart watches just don't: tells the time, all the time, no motion required, in a high contrast fashion.

All I really want out of a watch is that, plus long battery life (weeks at least, months preferably), self-charging, self-time setting, and, if I am lucky, some sort of "hey look at your phone" alert.

I get most of these with the Fossil Q. Others with my Citizens and Seiko non-smart watches, one of which has an e-ink display. Nothing has them all. Oh well.

I wonder if Google will make a Fossil Q which has it all. I do not need a display, health monitoring, etc.


Dell made their money by becoming the first big computer manufacturer to let you pick and choose how you wanted your computer configured, and then delivering it to you a few weeks later (which was fast, at the time, for a personalized machine!)

Apple and Fossil and Samsung and all those others are trying to make varieties of watches, but perhaps by jamming every feature someone might want into most of their watches, they are falling short on other features (ahem battery life) that other customers prefer.

I own a Fossil watch and a Citizen, and they are very pretty (and do other things, too, I guess.) Like this parent comment, I want a smart watch that's mostly a watch, but not just a watch. I wouldn't mind getting email or text notifications. In my world, that's something that happens just a few times a day. So it wouldn't annoy me. But just because I don't want my heart-rate tracked or a built-in GPS does not automatically imply that I don't want any other feature smart watches have that mechanical watches do not.


Everything except the notifications has been available in watches such as the Citizen Satellite Wave and Seiko Astron lineup.

There are E-Straps from Montblanc that can notify you among other things.

There are also the "HOROLOGICAL SMARTWATCH" and "HYBRID MANUFACTURE" from Frederique Constant that could be interesting to you.


I have both of these. :) I am a big fan of solar powered self time setting (GPS/WWV) watches.


Sounds like you almost just want a regular "dumb" watch.


Sounds like you are looking or the hybrid smartwatches.

Garmin do a very good job of displaying the time in high contrast, but I'm not sure if they give you the option of being able to have the display on all the time.


Yep, most of their watches have the display on all the time. The term to look for is "transflective memory-in-pixel" in specs.

This was the main reason I loved my pebble watches as iirc all android wear watches couldn't do this.


the garmin 935 is basically my perfect smart watch, always on high contrast display with 2 weeks of battery life


that's what i wanted too (plus the heart rate). check out the withings watches https://www.withings.com/us/en/steel-hr


Patents? If I remember correctly, Fossil launched one of the first smart watches, running Palm OS.


They also made some SPOT watches back then (Microsoft tech that pushed things like weather/news/emails/stocks/etc. to watches over FM radio).

I had one of the PalmOS watches. Very cool but battery life and inputting text were horrendous. I imagine Palm got most of the patents around that but maybe Fossil got some too.


Yes, I had a Fossil Abacus WristPDA (PalmOS 4.0) also at one point. I agree with both your criticisms, especially battery life; that thing drank juice from the battery like an eight-armed alcoholic, and you had to use its special USB cable with added power supply to recharge it nightly.

Jamie Zawinski once suggested that I turn PalmOS DaliClock into a "watch face" app, but, once I researched how those worked, I realized it would kill the battery even faster, and wouldn't even work right as watch face apps only got periodic CPU, about once a minute to update their display.


damn FOSL really need the cash huh? $40M and they said yes!?


Does that not correlate with other wearable exits


reminds me of pebble's "exit"


probably yes. The Apple watch has eaten into their market - the lower priced fashion watches. Not sure why they'd get rid of their smart watch division.

Maybe because only one watch can have wrist time at a time (maybe except for Buzz Aldrin) and Apple catches a big portion of the market by default already (almost all of the iPhone userbase).

https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/smartwatches-fossil-apple-...


They're not getting rid of it. They're selling an unspecified chunk of IP and the team that worked on it. They're still going to produce smartwatches.


isn't fossil owned by swatch? They have a generally successful actual watch business, and they probably just decided it's time to stop losing money on this since it's not actually a core business.


Pretty sure fossil is independently owned.


Is anyone satisfied with their Fossil watch? I have a Fossil Q Explorist and it's so slow and laggy that I almost wonder if I got a lemon. It takes like 3 taps to click or swipe before anything registers. I'm pretty sure my original Moto 360 is faster. I only wear it because it looks decent and occasionally works. I really wanted to like it, but my experience has just been ... bad.


Maybe try to RMA the device? Sounds like it might have just not gone through very good quality assurance.

Totally unrelated but I have a fenix 5x (Garmin) and it is just amazing. Sure, the display quality leaves a little to be desired and it was really pricey, but the information density is just off the charts.


So...more WearOS Fossils or more Fossil-y WearOS?


Given Google's attention span, I'd bet on the former.


Hopefully it's to get more control over the hardware, especially the chipset. Qualcomm is dragging down WearOS with their glacial pace and underwhelming commitment to the platform.



Fossil out-teched Google?


Purchase the competition and extinguish it. There's a term for this -- acquire and stifle? Something like that.



He's kidding.


Not really the competition. Fossil group is Google's strongest partner for Android Wear - as everybody else is ditching the platform, Fossil is still making new ones.


Like Microsoft buying Nokia?


Fossil isn't competing with Google. They're a partner. Google doesn't even have a first-party smartwatch.


It sounds like an extremely lowball price, so either google wanted more control of ther collaboration or Fossil needed cash and wanted to kill the dept anyway.


$40 million with 100 employees? Sounds like a face-saving "successful exit"


That was my first thought. If Google wanted to go big on smartwatches, I'd have thought that Fossil was important to push WearOS for its ability to design and manufacture interesting and varied designs (a Fossil strength and Google weakpoint) but pretty much any other smartwatch manufacturer seems to have been ahead of Fossil on heart rate monitoring, tracking and sleep tech and mobile payments. So it'll be interesting to see what the R&D is all about.


Build in-house when you have the resources and time, but not the money.

Acquire when you have the money but not the resources or the time. Probably part of a larger play.


40M is probably money they found down the back of a sofa at Google. Not much for them.


How do you out-tech somebody with no tech? Google has no smartwatch division. This represents a brand new product category for them.


Hopefully this means that my Fossil Q Wander is going to be on the cutting edge of Google's software updates now. Big fan of this watch by the way, only complaint is that it doesn't led itself to workouts as well as some other watches.


I feel real good about my Fossil Sport :)

Impressive to see Google's aggressive push into the hardware market. Here's to hoping that a Pixel watch is good enough to set a bench mark like what the Nexus/Pixel phones have done.


There's a good chance they'll run it into the ground.


Try for fitbit


40MM doesn’t sound like a huge deal for Google but I still cannot fathom why they would purchase this. I’d rather have a pimple on my forehead than a fossil smartwatch on my wrist.

An appropriate name for Google’s smartwatch line would be “caprolite”, which means fossized excrement.




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