In September, we revealed the specifics of Google's $40 million deal with smartwatch maker Fossil. While the deal was primarily a talent grab, Google also obtained the license to a hybrid smartwatch technology developed by Fossil.
That technology was referred to internally at Fossil as 'Diana' and combines physical watch components with a digital display.
The first embodiment of this technology was the Fossil Hybrid HR smartwatch, but we've now obtained a picture that shows off several other prototypes of 'Diana.'
As we revealed in the original story, 'Diana' was designed to have multiple variations. One watch, shown above, has just one complication with the physical clock, while another shows three.
The others display a full E Ink display behind the clock hands, similar to the Fossil Hybrid HR. You can also see the 'Diana' codename displayed on the middle watch.
The source who shared the image, and did so on condition of anonymity, described the white middle watch as an experiment with color masking, as Fossil didn't want all its E Ink displays to just be black and white. This would allow the company's license brands like Diesel Kate Spade to diversify the entire portfolio.
They added that some beta builds of 'Diana' integrated with Google Assistant with a press and hold of a button, however this feature was not included in the Fossil Hybrid HR.
When the deal between Fossil and Google was announced back in January, Fossil said it would result in the launch of a "new product innovation" that, at the time, had not hit the market. The 'Diana' technology has been in development inside Fossil since 2016, and was designed to find a compromise between battery life, traditional watch design and smart features like notifications.
Some of the engineers who worked on 'Diana' were acquired by Google in the buy, but it's unknown whether Google will pursue a smartwatch in this style now that it has the license share.
More recently, Google announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion, a deal that won't be finalized until next year. In a blog post announcing the deal, Google's senior VP of devices and services Rick Osterloh, announced that the deal would allow Google to" invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market."
Fossil did not respond to our request for comment.
How we test