Fossil's entry into the world of Wear smartwatches has definitely given Google's platform and the space a boost. However, one thing that's routinely disappointed us with the Michael Kors, Skagen and Armani watches has been the lack of Google Pay support.
That looks like it may well change for Fossil's fourth generation of smartwatches, after filings appeared on the FCC detailing nine new models that point to the inclusion of the NFC tech needed to unlock contactless payments. The filings mention DW7F1, DW7M1, DW7E1, DW7E2, DW7S1, DW7B1, and DW7T1 models. Two additional models (DW6 and DW8) were also spotted by a Reddit user.
Essential reading: Wear apps you need to download first
The E-Labels assigned to each model show off round screenshots of the Wear OS UI detailing that the watches will support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. What appears to give the NFC game away is the mention of an operating frequency range of 13.56-13.56 MHz, which is a big indication that the tech is on board.
Accompanying those E-Labels is a document that outlines that all of the models will include the same internal hardware and will differ through colours, strap material and chassis. As has been the case in the past, Fossil has launched Wear watches across its different brands, with options for men and women and a huge variety of looks and finishes.
But it's the inclusion of NFC, and therefore potentially Google Pay, which is the big deal here. We've been saying for some time that contactless payments should be a core feature for smartwatches, and it looks like one of the biggest producers of Wear smartwatches believes the time is right to include it. Why it hasn't done it it already, well, that's unknown.
It could have been related to design and keeping those Fossil tech-packed watches as slim as possible. It may also have been a question of ensuring that payment support was available to enough territories to make it a valuable feature for all Wear watch owners, and not just the few.
The question now shifts to when we'll get to see these new Fossil Wear watches. There's no indication in these filings when they'll surface, but the fact that they've appeared on the FCC now is a big clue that they may be close. We know that Qualcomm's new smartwatch chip will launch before the end of the year, alongside a lead lead smartwatch, which is rumoured to be Google's Pixel Watch. We are also expecting new Wear watches from LG, and Samsung could even make a Wear return, so our money is that it'll be before the end of 2018.
Excited about the prospect of a Skagen or Michael Kors watch with Google Pay? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: 9to5 Google
How we test