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Mar 18, 2017 01:10 PM EDT

Swatch Develops Its Own OS; Threatens Apple Watch & Google Android Wear

Sotheby's Open Auction On One Of The World's Largest Private Swatch Watch Collections
A set of James Bond Swatch watches are displayed during the Sotheby's preview on March 10, 2015 in Hong Kong. In 2018, the company is expected to release its own operating system and a solar-powered Tissot Smart Touch.
(Photo : Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Swatch is making its own operating system (OS) for a new line of smartwatches projected to directly compete with Apple and Google.

The OS is highly likely to be added to the Tissot brand, a subsidiary of The Swatch Group. While no particular date was mentioned, it may launch before the end of 2018. For one thing, company CEO Nick Hayek said that the new wearable tech needs less battery power and can "protect data better."

Swatch OS: Stronger battery

According to Mac Rumors, Swatch is trying to solve one of the biggest problems for wearable gadgets - power supply. The product that will house the OS will be known as the Tissot Smart Touch. Apparently, it is the first smartwatch of the said brand.

For the record, the Swatch wearable tech was already announced in 2015. It was originally set to arrive last year, but it never appeared due to unclear reasons. Nevertheless, when the Tissot Smart Touch finally launches, it is expected to be a solar-powered gadget.

The device will be able to connect to both iOS and Android smartphones. Interestingly, it also thrives with bonus features such as the function to lead users to lost keys. Other accessories include an independent weather station for "local weather information" like humidity and air quality.

Pros & Cons: Swatch OS

"People use smartwatches expecting to use the same apps they have on their mobiles," Luca Solca, a luxury watch analyst, said. She then added that an exclusive OS "defeats that object". Thus, the unique Swatch OS could be the company's first wrong move.

Slash Gear further illustrated that the Apple watchOS and the Samsung Gear VR are limited to the company's gadgets too. On the other hand, the Google Android Wear is more generic and is available for any watchmaker. This leaves a very little room to move away in terms of software.

While Hayek believes they can outperform Google and Apple wearables in battery life, their OS may not yet beat the already established Android Wear and WatchOS. Although Hayek admitted that their company is willing to make their OS available to third parties, it is still unsure whether these prospect brands want to shift to Swatch. More importantly, it is currently unknown whether these companies would like to further develop the new OS or not.

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