Apple and Google have jumped both feet first into the smartwatch age, but the traditional watchmakers aren’t going to let them have it all their own way. Swatch is one of the brands that we know to be interested in smartwatch technology, and the company has just unveiled its first intelligent timepiece — a watch specifically for beach volleyball.
It’s not a fully fledged smartwatch complete with apps and phone notifications, more a fitness tracker that’s able to display the time — in fact it’s actually an upgrade on the Swatch Touch that first appeared in 2011. This new Zero One version can record steps taken, calories burned and distance travelled, and offers some beach volleyball-specific features like the ability to log the power of your smashes.
This isn’t the top-end smartwatch that Swatch has been hinting about but it gives us an interesting look at the way the company is thinking — and if you’re serious about your beach volleyball then you’re probably going to prefer this one anyway. The watch is waterproof and comes with a standard Swatch battery, which should mean months or years of battery life.
A companion app lets you browse through all of the statistics you’ve logged and offers a little bit of coaching advice too — there are three modes to choose from depending on how hard you want to push yourself. Although Swatch has released a demo video and some details of the watch, we don’t yet know when it goes on sale or how much it costs.
With the world waiting for the arrival of the Apple Watch next month, and more Android Wear devices on the way, it’s going to be interesting to see how the traditional watchmakers react to this shift in the market. The Swiss manufacturers have already put together a fitness tracking platform that the next generation of watches can tap into.