The Swiss watchmaker will create a smartwatch and operating system in-house
Swiss watchmaker Swatch is about to fire a shot across the bow of Apple and Google as it is planning to launch its own smartwatch complete with an in-house operating system.
This could shake things up in the smartwatch arena which is dominated with the watchOS equipped Apple Watch and smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear. Samsung also has its own watch operating system based on Tizen, but lags behind both Android Wear and watchOS.
Swatch has plans to use it Tissot sub-brand to launch a smartwatch by the end of 2018, with the ability to connect to other small smart objects and wearables, according to Bloomberg, which interviewed Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek.
Details are slim on the ground, which is not surprising given the launch of the smartwatch is some way off, but it appears to have a goal of being centred around delivering smart features yet also having a battery life that lasts longer than that of smartwatches running Apple and Android operating systems.
Keeping the development in-house could be one way of ensuring rigorous control and optimisation of the smartwatch from an end-to-end perspective, rather than bringing together hardware and software from other companies.
With this in mind, a Swatch smartwatch could be something more akin to the Withings smartwatches, now owned by Nokia, which are more analogue timepieces with some smart capabilities than fully fledged smartwatches. Of course, this is mere speculation for the moment.
However, with the exception of the Apple Watch, smartwatches have not really galvanised the consumer or business market, even Cupertino’s wearable is hardly as wide-spread as its iPhones or iPads. So Swatch is potentially taking a big gamble at introducing a new smartwatch into an arena that has yet to set pulses racing.
That being said, introducing another alternative to watchOS and Android Wear is no bad thing as the more companies that get involved in smartwatches the more they will push each other to innovate and hopefully create a smartwatch that really offers a ‘killer function’ with an software and developer ecosystem to support it.