PULSE by Wareable
PULSE by Wareable Podcast
Brook Eaton: Ex-Fossil VP talks Wear OS, smartwatches and new MIJO Connected startup

Brook Eaton: Ex-Fossil VP talks Wear OS, smartwatches and new MIJO Connected startup

Learnings and the future of fashion smartwatches

Welcome to the first podcast from PULSE by Wareable.

I started PULSE in part because of the incredible access that Wareable enjoys across the industry – and that really paid off here.

If you missed the news, Fossil announced last week that it was quitting the smartwatch business – a huge blow for the Wear OS platform.

Fossil had been a staunch supporter of Wear OS, and released swathes of watches across its Fossil, Michael Kors, Skagen, Diesel, Puma, and other brands.

We managed to hook up and chat with Brook Eaton. He was VP of Product for Fossil and a major part of its smartwatch program since 2018.

Brook kindly agreed to jump on and talk to us about the smartwatch market, but also new venture MIJO. He is advising the smartwatch startup led by Steve Prokup – who had senior roles at Fossil and Pebble, and Hai Nguyen, also formerly of Fossil.

All content on PULSE by Wareable is FREE until 23 February while we get started. In the mean time we’re offering 20% off paid subscriptions:

Key takeaways:

  1. Fossil’s vision for smartwatches was to make something unique that spoke to its customers. The company felt that its customers were less interested in fitness features and more interested in looks, watch faces, and designs.

  2. Fossil was concerned about battery life on the Wear OS platform and spent time developing its own workarounds for power-saving features. Eaton said that he was surprised about the limitations of battery life on his arrival at Fossil.

  3. Eaton indicated that Google was challenged to realize the vision for Wear OS and deliver on it. The company also dedicated much of its resources to onboarding Samsung when the company returned in 2021, and there wasn’t time or attention on the other brands. Fossil and others were forced to wait until after Samsung launched to be able to onboard their products onto Wear OS 3.

  4. Wear OS has the potential to be better than watchOS, not just in terms of features but the options that users get in terms of design. And the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 platform is starting to signal the end of battery anxiety for people.

  5. MIJO Connected aims to create a platform for traditional watch brands to get on board with smartwatches. MIJO can offer RTOS smartwatches and support full Wear OS devices with AMOLED displays, too. The MIJO team carries experience from Fossil who worked on behalf of a range of brands – and included the Misfit development team from Vietnam, many of whom worked for the company back in its 2014 heyday.

Helpful links:

Opinion: Fossil was let down by Google before smartwatches exit.

Find Brook Eaton here.

Here’s what Google got in its $40m deal with Fossil

PULSE by Wareable
PULSE by Wareable Podcast
PULSE is the new subscription version of Wareable – the largest website dedicated to wearable tech. It focuses on health and wellness wearables, AI & new form factors. Subscribe for a free CES 2024 trends report and get 20% off subscriptions this month.