Swiss watchmaker Swatch is known for its traditional and relatively affordable watches, and now CEO Nick Hayek has confirmed the company will venture into the smartwatch world in the next three months, as reported by Bloomberg.
According to the report, Swatch’s smartwatch will communicate through NFC, which will also be used for mobile payments with the smartwatch, although how this will work (and on which system it will operate) isn’t known yet. Hayek does say the company is talking to retailers about possible partnerships. The device will work with both Windows and Android operating systems, but evidently not Apple’s iOS.
Most interesting, however, is that the smartwatch will not need to be charged. Hayek did not reveal how that would be possible, though there are two ways that can happen, the first being an “automatic” watch that utilizes a generator. This tiny generator is spun by the motion of an eccentric-weighted rotor. This rotor would be moved by your arm’s movement. The second way is by using a watch cell battery, which can sometimes last for between six months and a year before needing replacement.
Swatch is well-equipped to launch a smartwatch. Watches made by its sister brand Tissot have had touchscreens for years, and it already incorporates essential sensors including a compass and an altimeter into other timepieces. However, Swatch isn’t the only big name watchmaker eyeing the smartwatch market. TAG Heuer’s first smartwatch is expected before the end of the year, and Montblanc has its own take on the smartwatch phenomenon called the e-Strap.
Hayek did not reveal any details about pricing, though its availability will put it squarely against the Apple Watch, which will launch sometime in April. One area where the Apple Watch will likely falter against Swatch’s smartwatch is battery life, which might not be anywhere near impressive.