There will soon be another watch operating system on the market. In an interview with Bloomberg Technology, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said the company is making an alternative to the IOS and Android operating systems, for smartwatches.
The worlds biggest watchmaker has been skeptical about smartwatches, which use systems like googles android wear, Samsung’s Tizen OS and Apples Watch OS connect to the internet, and has so far launched watches with limited connected features under its Tissot and Swatch brands.
CCS Insight expects the market for smart wearables to almost double to 185 million units worth $16.9 billion by 2021.
Nick Hayek said biggest problems facing competitor smartwatches related to energy consumption and privacy. Swatch Group, whose brands include Omega, said last month it was working with Swiss research institute CSEM to launch an “ecosystem” for connected objects by the end of 2018.
Swatch said this would offer absolute dat protection and ultra-low energy consumption and would not need regular updates.
More specifically, Swatch’s Tissot brand, set to be introduced late next year, will be the first smartwatch to use the to-be-named Swiss-made OS. Hayek said the new timepiece will be able to connect to small objects and wearables. Most importantly, it will require less battery power — allowing the watch to operate longer between charges — and protect data better than existing smartwatches, Hayek said. Swatch said it has also developed the worlds smallest Bluetooth chip, for use in watches and house hold objects.
Considering the popularity of IOS and Android, Swatch is fighting an uphill battle. However, according to Hayek, Swatch’s “think small” approach will work better, since the company is trying to solve the biggest problem for wearable devices: short battery life. The new operating system is currently being developed with the Swiss Center for Electronics and Micro technology.
Apart from making it sown smartwatch, Swatch is willing to supply third parties with the operating system, Hayek said. He added that the company has received about 100 requests for more information, with half coming from smaller Silicon Valley companies that don’t want to be dependent on Android and IOS.