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Swatch announces it’ll develop its own OS for smartwatches
Switzerland’s largest watchmaker has announced that it will develop its own OS for upcoming smartwatches, competing directly with Google and Apple.
According to Bloomberg, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said in an interview that the Swiss watchmaker will develop its own wearable OS that is more efficient in saving power and protecting user data and will launch a model by the end of 2018 under its Tissot brand. Swatch’s announcement is in sharp contrast with the recently announced TAG Heuer smartwatch, developed in conjunction with Google and Intel.
Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said in an interview that the Swiss watchmaker will develop its own wearable OS that is more efficient in saving power and protecting user data and will launch a model by the end of 2018 under its Tissot brand.
It’s true that there have been growing doubts around Google’s wearable OS and wearables in general. People expect smartphone-like features as well as a long-lasting battery life inside a small timepiece, something that no manufacturer can deliver with today’s technology. That’s likely why some Android OEMs have quit the smartwatch market altogether for now or have moved onto a platform that allows for more freedom and flexibility à la Gear S3 running Tizen OS.
According to Hayek, speaking at the headquarters of Omega – a sub-brand owned by Swatch Group – the company is trying to “think small”:
There’s a possibility for wearables to develop as a consumer product, but you have to miniaturize and have an independent operating system.
He added that there have been around 100 requests so far for more information on this upcoming proprietary OS and that Swatch plans to provide its OS to third parties as well. Although some are skeptical that Swatch’s OS would be adequate in satiating consumer needs, I think that if it executes well the idea of miniaturization, it can carry over the success that connected hybrid watches saw to true smartwatches. Though I don’t imagine it being app-rich like Apple’s ecosystem or even Google’s, if Hayek and his company can create a good-looking Tissot timepiece that is both smart and long-lasting, then perhaps all this is worth the effort.
What do you want to see in a smartwatch? Is battery life the most important factor for you? Let us know by leaving a comment below!