Fashion brand Fossil will launch its own wearable technology platform later this year, following a collaborative development process involving Google and Intel.
The platform will see support from three smartwatches, one from Fossil itself and two from licensed brands Michael Kos and Emporio Armani.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the move into wearables is part of a concerted effort by Fossil’s chief financial officer Dennis Secor to move towards e-commerce and away from the traditional retail environment.
Fossil’s chief strategy and marketing officer Greg McKelvey explained that the wearable technology could be expanded to include other brands at a later date.
Currently not much is known about the three smartwatches scheduled for a 2015 release, but Fossil did share a slide which outlines its vision for a “branded digital experience.” It suggests that, like most wearables, they will need to connect to a smartphone and promises “multiple accessories and price points.” It has also been revealed that the watches will not feature USB charging points.
It appears as though Fossil plans to launch both watches and jewellery, some of which will feature digital displays and some that won’t. Although the sketches shared by Fossil are difficult to make out, it’s possible that future releases will feature some form of smart strap, perhaps in addition to a digital watch face.
The news that Fossil, Michael Kors and Armani are looking to enter the smartwatch space is not entirely unexpected as it appears that the wearable market is splitting into budget and luxury offerings. While a Pebble smartwatch can be purchased for less than £100, high-end wearables like Intel’s MICA smart bracelet has been priced at $495 (£325).
Mobile World Congress, which took place earlier this week in Barcelona, featured a host of new wearables, with the market set to grow rapidly this year. Huawei, LG and ZTE were amongst the firms to unveil new smartwatches at the event.