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The CEO of Swiss watch-makers Swatch has revealed in an interview that the company plans to create its own smartwatch to compete with the Apple Watch.
Nick Hayek’s announcement was picked up by Bloomberg after it was mentioned in an interview.
It will be compatible with NFC payments systems and work with both Windows and Android – iOS compatibility wasn’t mentioned specifically.
Hayek said he was sceptical of smartwatches and the Apple Watch a few months ago. To him, traditional watch brands like Blancpain were smartwatches because “they make you look smart.” Now, considering the amount of attention the Apple Watch has been getting from the tech and fashion industry press, he has changed his mind. Probably a good call, there.
The new Swatch timepiece will have near field communication (NFC) capability built in, but will not need to be charged. This would be a real bonus for consumers who want both the traditional convenience of having a watch, but with the technological advancements a smart timepiece would bring. However, how Swatch would achieve this is currently unknown. Sacrifices would have to be made to achieve a long-term battery life and it’ll likely have nowhere near the functionality that the Apple Watch can deliver. By the looks of things, Swatch’s smart capabilities will largely revolve around NFC.
Swatch aren’t the only ones responding to the hype created by the announcement of the Apple Watch. Richemont’s Montblanc has shown off its ‘e-Strap,’ which is a watch strap with a small screen attached, which effectively adds some smartwatch functionality to a regular watch. LVMH’s TAG Heuer is looking to launch a smartwatch with GPS – a feature that is missing from the launch version of the Apple Watch.
No further concrete details have been confirmed about the new watch out of Hayek’s company. Will it be able to compete with Apple’s wrist piece? Only time will tell.