At Baselworld 2018, Fossil Group hosted a panel featuring tech and retail industry experts to discuss the future of the watch industry. â€œThe introduction of smartwatches has had a huge impact on this category and itâ€™s disrupted us in a really exciting way,â€ said Steve Evans, EVP Fossil Group. â€œWe look at this as a new opportunity to grow the wrist.â€
Since 2015, Fossil Group has strategically partnered with Google to develop touchscreen smartwatches powered by their operating systems. Google Engineering Director Miles Barr said while they have the software intelligence, they look to Fossil Group as experts in crafting a watch. â€œFossil Group has shaped our thinking about what smartwatches could look like,â€ Barr said.
Panelist Georgie Barrat of â€œThe Gadget Showâ€ commended Fossil Group for its style and how the fashion first approach sets it apart from the rest of the wearable tech market. â€œAs we get these more traditional watch manufacturers coming in and going into the smartwatch area, theyâ€™re a lot more design focused, which I think is really important because not everyone wants to look like they have a computer on their wrist,â€ she said. â€œConsumers expect to be connected all the time. Much like the mobile revolution, we will see a sliver of tech in everything especially with wearables. I would argue that in the next 5 years smartwatches will become the primary personal gadgets and phones will be secondary.â€
When asked what the strategies are for attracting the millennial consumer, Evans explained curation is key. â€œ[We ask] How do we give people what they need and want in a product? How do we learn what that stuff is?â€ he said. â€œOur products are meant to be useful and well-designed, serving a purpose in peopleâ€™s lives.â€
Watch the full panel discussion below.
“Fossil Group has shaped our thinking about what smartwatches could look like.â€Miles Barr, Google, Engineering Director
Georgie Barrat – The Gadget Show, Journalist and Presenter
Miles Barr – Google, Engineering Director
Steve Evans – Fossil Group, Executive Vice President
Dave Murray – rewardStyle, Executive Vice President Europe