- Diesel is launching a smartwatch called the Diesel Full Guard 2.5 that is powered by Google's Wear OS, per a statement. The watch is compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones, features heart-rate and GPS tracking and is waterproof during swimming and showering.
- The smartwatch supports payments with a built-in near-field communications (NFC) chip that works with Google Pay in select countries. The voice-activated Google Assistant also works on the device and can respond to queries in multiple languages.
- DJ and producer Steve Aoki, who recently signed on as Diesel's newest brand ambassador, will be the face of smartwatch, which will be available in October.
While smartwatch adoption hasn't been off the charts, the news suggests the devices have enduring appeal for fashion brands. Diesel introduced the first version of its smartwatch last year, and Kate Spade and Fossil followed with their own watches. The latest Apple Watch is expected to be unveiled next month.
Tapping Steve Aoki to help with the launch could be a win for Diesel in trying to connect with a mobile-savvy customer base. The DJ previously worked with Asics to help it refresh its brand and launched a chatbot last year to help promote his new album.
Diesel's latest smartwatch is another example of how fashion brands are incorporating some of the latest mobile technologies into their accessories. Diesel's inclusion of Google Assistant for search help and NFC technology to enable contactless payments brings it in line with other wearable products. Fitbit Pay comes with the company's Ionic watch and allows wearers to add their credit or debit card information for purchases. Garmin has a digital wallet system called Garmin Pay, which was first available in its Vívoactive 3 smartwatch.
The growth of the global wearables market is forecast to slow to 8.2% this year from 10.3% in 2017, according to the International Data Corporation. Growth, however, is projected to accelerate next year through 2022 as smartwatches become more popular.