Traditional watch maker Fossil splashed the cash on the California based fashionable wearable tech hardware company Misfit. It seems that the strategic move by the watch making industry is acknowledging that wearable technology for the wrist is here to stay. That being said, not many people are aware that there was a time, way before Steve Jobs formed his ideas about disrupting the mobile phone market, that Fossil has been pioneering wearables since 1999. They released their own smart watch in 2003, the Palm OS Watch, twelve years before the AppleWatch took the Wearable Tech industry by storm.
The development of the Fossil Wrist PDA began in 1999. Engineer Donald Brewer, licensed a read-only version of the Palm OS from Palm Source and tried to make it work in a watch creating the first real life Dick-Tracy watch. The powerful PDA watch had a 33-MHz Motorola Dragonball processor, 2 Mbytes of RAM, and 2 Mbytes of Flash memory, uses Palm OS 4.1, and ran any Palm application. Looking back, it makes us wonder, to what degree the wrist PDA was an inspiration for the Apple Watch. The watches were anything but fashionable, but they did show us that Fossil needed some Misfit inspiration back in the day.
Fossil Group, an American designer and manufacturer of clothing and accessories have paid a $260m (£171m) to: “add technology and connectivity across our platform of watches and accessories” said Kosta Kartsotis, chief executive of Fossil Group. Fossil sells 50 million watches and accessories each year in 150 countries. Being quite an established brand, Misfit’s chief executive and co-founder Sonny Vu told The Wall Street Journal: “If you don’t have a brand it is hard to be legit in this space.” The startup’s first product activity tracker, Misfit Shine, came out in 2013 after a great Indiegogo campaign that met its goal of raising $100,000 in less than 10 hours after launch.
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We cannot hide our love for the amount of fashion and style the company is throwing at wearables and therefore we are happy to learn that Misfit stated it will continue to develop activity trackers under the Misfit brand.