Swatch heads into smartwatch business with the Swatch Touch
Swiss watchmaker Swatch has announced that it is planning to launch a smartwatch next summer, dubbed Swatch Touch, and that it has no plans to partner with any tech companies to do so, reports Reuters.
According to Swatch CEO Nick Hayek, the wearable device is said to feature fitness features including a pedometer and calorie burn tracker. These are common features also incorporated in rival Samsung’s Gear Fit and LG’s new G Watch R. Other “cool ‘Swatchy’ things” will also be on offer via Bluetooth, Hayek teased in the interview.
In addition, the Swatch Touch is said feature “low-power and low-voltage microchips” and will be “the only battery-powered device to have a touch screen that is always active because its power consumption is so low,” asserted Michel Willemin, head of EM Marin, a sub-division of Swatch.
The news may come as a surprise to those who have seen previous rumours that Swatch is working with Apple to release a line of smartwatches in a range of styles and price points. Instead of killing the whispers, Hayek proudly claims that “all the big technology firms want to work with us,” and states that he would not “rule out that we are, or could be, collaborating in some areas.” However, he does point out that Swatch can also do “many things” on its own.
The wearable market is estimated to have a potential worth of $93 billion (£65 billion), and Swatch has been feeling the pressure from the impact of wearables on the watch market. The Swiss company’s shares have dropped 15 per cent so far this year, apparently due to anticipation of Apple releasing its iTime wearable at the upcoming event on 9th September.
“Our first message for customers is the watch. If they like it, they might also be interested in the extra functions,” Hayek goes on to say. “It is a problem if you only define a product by its technology. Technology alone doesn’t sell, not in watches.”
Hayek’s comment further highlights the importance of fashion when it comes to wearable technology, with smartwatch sporting more bulky and futuristic designs looking to be less appealing to fashion-conscious consumers.