More variations of Fossil’s e-ink hybrid could be on the way
Several more Fossil timepieces are likely to come on the heels of the Hybrid HR smartwatch. Some of these will have e-ink displays, others will not.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
All of these watches will be a direct result of the Google deal at the start of 2019. As part of the $40 million agreement, the search giant took on a part of Fossil’s 200 strong R&D team. The internal technology that was developed as part of this is referred to as “Diana”, a blend between the worlds “Digital” and “Analogue”.
The Hybrid HR was the first commercial device featuring the new smarts. Its most interesting aspect is the novel e-ink technology. In addition to providing an always-on experience, this also allows for power efficiency. The display sits behind mechanical hands to show heart rate, steps, weather, notifications and more. All of this runs on Fossil’s proprietary operating system.
Early reviews on the device are starting to filter through, and they are positive. There are five iterations of Hybrid HR in total, three for men’s Collider range and two for women’s Charter range. The only difference between them is the design.
But now, several more variants of Diana may be on the way. An unnamed source has shared a pic and some information on the condition of anonymity. Pictured above, some watches share the same e-ink display as Hybrid HR. The one in the middle of the image goes beyond the simple black and white e-ink colors. The source has described this as an “experiment with color masking”. Apparently the goal is to integrate this type of display with other Fossil designer sub-brands.
Two iterations that are pictured above are “more traditional” hybrids. The first has only one complication, the second features three. The source also added that some beta builds of the operating system provided access to Google Assistant at the press of a button, but that the feature was not included in the Hybrid HR.
We have been patiently waiting for the Google Pixel watch for a while now. It seems each passing year brings renewed hope. At the start of October, Japanese news outlet the Nikkei Asian Review speculated we could see the watch later in the month. As before, nothing materialized.
But things may be different going forward. In addition to the Fossil tech, Google has recently agreed to acquire Fitbit. The $2.1 billion deal should go through sometime next year. Perhaps the Fossil and Fitbit deals may help to make the Pixel Watch a reality soon.
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