Swatch is probably not the first name that springs to mind when you think of smartwatches. The company recently launched its pay-by-the-wrist Swatch Bellamy (pictured above) in China. Earlier this year, it unveiled the beach volleyball-focused Swatch Touch Zero One touch watch. But if Swatch has yet to unveil a true smartwatch, it looks like it’s spending quite a bit of time thinking about them. Envision IP, a patent law firm, has found that the company has filed more than 170 U.S. and international smart- and connected watch patent applications in the last few years.
The 173 patents the company owns cover both watch circuitry and hardware. For example, one focuses on a smart battery that would allow data transmission. Another is for a radio-frequency signal receiver while yet another is described as a “portable object for detecting presence of apparatus by wireless communication circuit.”
Swatch has also confirmed that it could release a smartwatch battery that would do away with the need for nightly recharging as early as next year. Unlike competitors like Tag Heuer which partnered with Google and Intel for the Tag Heuer Connected Watch, this collection of patents could allow Swatch to release a smartwatch without the need for any partners.
Swatch’s watch patent portfolio will likely allow it to benefit in two ways. It can experiment with different designs to see which ones connect with consumers. It can also license its patents to others and benefit from their successes.
Source : Bloomberg