Fashion Meets Wearables: Fossil
The line between fashion and tech is beginning to blur as industry leaders rush to fill a gap in wearable technology that is both functional and fashionable. Popular accessories brand, Fossil, ix one of the first established fashion brands to do. Veering from the brand’s standard lineup of jewelry, handbags, and sunglasses, Fossil added tech to their product list with their recent introduction of wearables. Coining these pieces of technology “connected accessories”, Fossil has released three smartwatches and two activity trackers, each one a lot more chic than geek.
Based in Texas, this prominent American brand began business in 1984, and has been most widely known for its trendy watches and leather products. During it’s 30 years in business, Fossil has tried venturing into the world of wearable tech a few times. A decade before the Apple Watch or Fitbits, this accessory giant released the “Fossil Wrist PDA.” It was large and clunky, but this Palm Pilot wristwatch was well ahead of its time. A few years later in 2006, Fossil made another go at wearable tech and introduced a simple Caller I.D. watch that paired with the Bluetooth on Sony Ericsson phones. Both of these pieces were widely anticipated by the public but didn’t take off because of their clunky size and impracticality. This time though, with sleeker tech and smartphones being the norm, Fossil has figured out how to make their wearables sell.
In Fall 2015, Fossil released the “Q” line of smart jewelry. Rather than going at it alone, they wisely partnered with Intel to ensure the line was fitted with the best technology. Staying true to the brand, the watches are more classic in style than most wearables – round faces, leather straps, stainless steel links. Customers can choose from a watch with a customizable touchscreen or one that’s simply analog. And, depending on model, the watches have the capability to text, track activity, receive notifications, and access apps. Exclusively to Fossil Q smartwatches is the “Curiosity Challenges” feature that sends wearers weekly challenges to encourage lighthearted fun. Prompts such as “Take a jump shot” and “Stop and smell the roses” tell users take action and allows them to capture it by uploading a photo.
As for the specs, Fossil wearables run on Android technology, though they are still compatible with iOS apps. The top of the line model comes with 4GB of storage while packing 1GB of RAM. The internal storage coupled with the smartwatch’s Wi-Fi capabilities allows users the ability to transfer music onto it. The Intel processor lives up to that of most Android Wear watches to ensure no lag. As for activity tracking, the fitness technology is comparable to that of Jawbone or Fitbit, being considerably accurate. And, to top it off, the sizeable 400mAH battery will usually translate to 24-hours of battery life.
These fashionable wearables are as affordable as they are attractive. Fossil has priced the line competitively with the rest of the market. Their activity trackers rival the pricing of basic Fitbits at $125 while the top of the line Q Founder smartwatch is still almost half the price of Apple’s at just $275. Compared to Apple’s fashion-focused Hermès smartwatch collaboration, which starts at $1,500, the Q Founders sounds like a steal.
Fossil is once again leading the way in bringing together fashion and technology and won’t be stopping any time soon. Upon the launch of the newest Q45 Pilot at the beginning of 2016, the company promised that it will be launching more than 100 connected accessories throughout their various fashion brands before the year’s end. The number one fashion watch manufacturer is proving that connected accessories can still be chic which is forcing wearables giants to step up their aesthetics. The brand is also leading the way for other established fashion houses to see the potential in wearables, confirming that they are more than just a fad. In the mean time, Fossil’s “Q” line gives fashion-conscious consumers a way to embrace wearables without giving up on style.
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