Swatch took its first steps into the world of smartwatches earlier this year with the Swatch Touch Zero One touch watch. It also promised a smartwatch with support mobile payments via NFC would launch this summer. CEO Nick Hayek last week told Switzerland’s Tages-Anzeiger that the companies smartwatch ambitions extend well beyond these two early devices. It is planning an entire range of smartwatches.
“Our product is called Touch Zero One and that gives enough room for Zero Five, Zero Nine,” explained Hayek to the publication. “The Touch Zero One is not the end of the progression.” He added that the Touch Zero Two will be unveiled next summer at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. More models would then presumably follow. One area Swatch will avoid is any medical use such as early heart attack detection. Hayek does not want to “take responsibility for it as a watch producer.” He also avoids all the certifications that such applications require as well.
Swatch’s smartwatch strategy will be different from that of Apple and many other manufacturers. Rather than focusing on one or a few all-in-one smartwatches that offer a multitude of functions, the company wants to offer a range of devices geared at specific needs. The beach volleyball-focused Swatch Touch Zero One certainly follows that philosophy. For example, along with tracking steps taken and calories burned, it will count specific information such as Power Hits and volleyball manoeuvres such as high hits and low hits. Unlike many other smartwatches, it also promises a battery life of up to nine months.
Hayek also reconfirmed that Swatch will launch a watch with NFC mobile payment capabilities this year. “The technology works,” says Hayek but a few “last details” remain to be worked out with the company’s partners from the credit card industry. It is expected to launch in Switzerland as well as one other “big country,” likely the U.S. or China.