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Swatch takes on Google, Apple with own watch OS
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-03-18 00:51:52

Swatch Group AG said it's developing an alternative to the iOS and Android operating systems for smartwatches as Switzerland's largest maker of timepieces vies with Silicon Valley for control of consumers' wrists.

The company's Tissot brand will introduce a model around the end of 2018 that uses the Swiss-made system, which will also be able to connect small objects and wearables, Swatch Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said in an interview Thursday. The technology will need less battery power and it will protect data better, he said later at a press conference.

It makes sense. Unlike as on smartphones or PCs, I don't think people really want applications on smartwatches. Notifications and fitness - that's what seems to define the (admittedly, limited) appeal of smartwatches. There's no reason why a traditional watchmaker wouldn't be able to provide such limited functionality in a robust way, possibly providing anything from watches that are all-screen to mechanical watches with more limited 'smart' additions.

With Wear 2.0 effectively being fake news at this point, where else is Swatch going to turn to?

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20
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Power
By bugjacobs on 2017-03-19 02:32:41
The power requirements of for ex. Apple Watch are ridiculous ... If they can find some smart features to put on a watch that has atleast 14-30 days batterytime, they will have a winner compared to Apple/Samsung.
Maybe one thing is a simple tie-in to the smartphone (android/ios), automatic alerts for mail/sms etc when the phone is in range etc. Automatic sync of health data to the phone. (?) for ex.
Permalink - Score: 2
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connect to small objects and devices?
By shotsman on 2017-03-19 08:58:51
That will make the thing a lot more complicated than it needs to be.
That will increase battery use.

Then these devices... If they already exist then then thay may well be Insecure IoT crap. That could compromise the watch.

All this make me want to question the whole thing. Why?
I can understand them wanting to compete with things like the apple Watch but I just don't get this as being a viable solution. It is just a 'me too' move?
I guess that we may get to know more by the time the end of 2018 comes around but it may well be a case of too little, far too late.
Permalink - Score: 2
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Mistakes
By MysterMask on 2017-03-19 09:33:39
>
I don't think people really want applications on smartwatches.


*LOL*
(You sound a lot like Steve Balmer. Neither were people looking for applications on their "walk mans", "cell phones", etc.)

Of course they want. It's just that the current implementation is not good enough for the broad masses. But there are already a lot of niche applications in use.


Thinking about those gadget in "watch form factor" as "watches" is misleading. That's why Swatch will fail - they are not able to think "outside of the box". At best, the can protect their traditional markets of low cost watches.
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RE: connect to small objects and devices?
By No it isnt on 2017-03-19 10:31:06
No.

It won't be always-on WLAN on 3G (that would kill the battery in no time), it will connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, either periodically or when you tell it to. Just like Fitbit and the rest of them.

Yes, it's a me-too move, and not taking the jump would easily kill Swatch within a few years.
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE: Mistakes
By unclefester on 2017-03-19 11:38:51
> At best, the can protect their traditional markets of low cost watches.

Swatch AG owns many of the premium and luxury Swiss watch brands: eg. Breguet, Harry Winston, Blancpain, Glashütte Original, Jaquet Droz, Léon Hatot, Omega, Longines, Rado, Union Glashütte, Tissot, Balmain, Certina, Mido, Hamilton, and Calvin Klein.

Some of these brands cheapest models are over USD10,000

Edited 2017-03-19 11:39 UTC
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RE: Power
By ianm on 2017-03-19 21:31:15
Of all the objections to smart watches, having to charge it every day is the most idiotic thing to make a fuss about. Aside from the small group of neckbeards who wear their watch in the shower, or just don't shower that often, it's not much of a burden to take your watch off at night and set it on the charger. The new Zenwatch picks up enough charge for a day in 15 minutes.

Stop bitching about this idiotic non-problem.
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE[2]: Power
By flanque on 2017-03-19 22:09:30
Wow..

The claims are perfectly valid. The last thing I want to be doing is having to charge my watch on a daily basis. I don't wear my FitBit in the shower, but I do at night to track my sleep.. and even the 5ish days of charge live is a pain in the rear.
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RE[3]: Power
By ianm on 2017-03-20 01:27:00
Right now, my smartwatch can charge for the day while I shower. This is a stupid complaint. Utterly stupid.
Permalink - Score: -1
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RE[4]: Power
By leech on 2017-03-20 03:09:01
Perfectly valid complaint. I generally take a 15-20m shower, and my watch (Gear S2) won't charge to 100% that fast, and lasts (depending on my watch face for the day) anywhere from between 8am to 1am, to 8am to 7pm... so I can't even get a full 24 hours out of it.

Not to mention non-swappable batteries, so in 2 years I'm forced to buy another 300 dollar watch?
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE[4]: Power
By SWC01 on 2017-03-20 10:21:13
Be careful with that, using a charger in the shower can cause serious injury.
Permalink - Score: 1

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