Fashion accessories company Fossil has partnered with Intel to “further develop wearable technology for the fashion industry”.
In a statement, the companies said they will work together to “identify, support and develop emerging trends” in the wearables market. This will enable Fossil’s brands to “participate in wearable technology in a fashionable way”.
In addition to Fossil products, the company also owns brands including Relic, Abacus, Skagen and Zodiac Watches. It also works with brands including Adidas, Emporio Armani, DKNY and Diesel.
Kosta Kartsotis, CEO of Fossil, said: “Combining our fashion lifestyle brands with Intel’s expertise in technology, hardware and innovation will position us to be a leader in this segment”.
In a statement, it was also said that Fossil will work closely with Intel Capital, the chipmaker’s global investment organisation, “to identify and evaluate co-investments in emerging technologies to accelerate industry innovation and stay at the forefront of the wearable consumer trend”.
While the smartwatch segment is currently the focus of significant attention, this has primarily come from device vendors, rather than watch specialists.
Although some recent devices have seen a shift in focus to emphasise attractive design, vendors have largely yet to tap the design, marketing and sales expertise of companies from the fashion sector.
With Intel not offering devices itself, it is well-positioned as an enabling partner for companies that specialise in products that could integrate wearable technology – such as Fossil.
Last year, Intel created its New Devices Group, with the mandate to “go off and investigate new opportunities and new devices”, and at CES 2014 earlier this year Brian Krzanich, its CEO, showcased a number of potential future products including wearables.
It has partnered with SMS Audio to bring some earbuds to market and is working with fashion company Opening Ceremony on a “fashion-oriented bracelet with communications functions”.
Michael Bell, general manager of the New Devices Group, wrote: “This is really what we do best; align our technology and innovation engine with ecosystem partners to bring the best products to market. In our little corner of Intel, however, they may not be the technology companies the world is used to seeing from Intel.”