At Google I/O 2021, the company announced that it is merging Wear OS with Samsung’s own Tizen smartwatch software to create a unified platform for wearable devices. However, it didn’t announce if the new OS will eventually come to the existing hardware. Now, Fossil has shed some light on the topic, and it’s not very promising.
Fossil’s Chief Commercial Officer Greg McKelvey and Steve Prokup, senior vice president of connected devices talked to CNET, where they revealed the plan regarding their existing smartwatches. As per McKelvey, most previous-year models will eventually be discounted as existing Fossil Google Wear watches won’t be upgradable to the new Wear OS software platform.
“All of the software benefits that Google’s talking about and launching with the unified platform is something we’ll be building into that (upcoming Fossil Gen 6) as well,” McKelvey said. However, it is unclear what types of buttons or crowns Fossil might use in its next Wear OS watch. While Samsung is committed to using its rotating bezel, most watches use a crown or a button.
“We’ve had, and still have, multiple configurations of buttons in the market at the same time, and that’s able to be supported,” Prokup says. “I think you’re still going to see a variety of offerings across even our products, as well as manufacturers … not so much that you’re going to have a watch that ends up having four, five, six dedicated buttons or no buttons.”
The most likely way to interact with future Fossil smartwatches is likely to be the touchscreen with buttons and crowns offering extra design flair and shortcuts. The company is likely to continue exploring different combinations of buttons or spinning crowns.
“We’ve got a full set of some pretty major hardware upgrades that we already planned,” Prokup said. Hence, we expect a faster performance, better battery life, and potentially more advanced health features on Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch.
Update: Fossil PR reached out to Pocketnow and had the following to say about the topic:
At Fossil, our product and engineering teams continue to innovate on the Gen 5 and Gen 5E smartwatches, which will result in new software features being launched later this year and into next year. With regards to the operating system, we will be leveraging the unified platform announced at I/O, and our policy is to bring the maximum amount of innovation that Google will enable to each of our generation of smartwatches. Future upgrade plans are still being developed, and we will continue to make announcements later this year.For more details on our upcoming smartwatch platform this fall, we will be able to share more with you soon!