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02 August 2015

Swatch Smartwatch Set for Launch

The smart Swatch will have capabilities to handle payments.  This doesn't seem like such a good idea.  Smart watches are easily hackable.

Swatch smartwatch set for launch: 20,000 devices ready to go

by Paul Lamkin@paullamkin, wareable.com, 
16 July 2015

CEO outlines plan to go live in the US, China and Switzerland

Swatch's first smartwatch, reportedly based on the Swatch Touch, is on course for a summer arrival – launching in the US, China and Switzerland.

That's according to CEO Nick Hayek, who was speaking to the WSJ. "We have 20,000 already in stock and we are very optimistic about the watch," he said.

Back in March, the CEO spilled details on Swatch's plans and it looks like there will be two models - a watch with NFC capabilities to handle payments, open hotel doors and compatible locks, and a watch with Bluetooth for displaying alerts and news from a smartphone.

"We are not going to transform and put the mobile phone on the wrist," he said in a press conference. "Let the others do it. Samsung did it, Sony did it. Everybody does it."

The smartwatch(es) will work with Android and Windows smartphones, handle mobile payments via China UnionPay and Visa, according to Reuters, and "won't need to be charged". Hayek also told Bloomberg that Swatch had been working on innovation in battery tech.

Hayek told Reuters that the tech world is clambering to work alongside the famous watch brand. Back in August 2014, Swatch announced that it will addfitness-tracking features to its line of touchscreen watches, less than a week after denying rumours it was working on a wearable with Apple.

"All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don't rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas," said Hayek. "But we can also do many things on our own."

Swatch smarts make sense

The existing Smart Touch is a touchscreen LCD watch with no physical buttons, and a handful of basic settings such as stopwatches and alarms that are more at home on an 1980s Casio than a cutting edge wearable.

The irony is that Swatch was founded in 1980 to counter the huge disruption to Swiss-made pieces from Japanese brands, and the cult of the digital watch – and the announcement of new smart features is certainly a response to the new cult of wearables from technology's biggest names.

http://www.wareable.com/smartwatches/swatch-fitness-tracker-touch-apple

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