Swatch CEO Nick Hayek is saying that the time giant is working on its own operating system, and expects to have something on the market next year. Cautious as it is, Hayek’s comments late last week on the eve of the Baselworld watch show are his company’s biggest step yet into the emerging market.
Hayek’s correct objection to the existing generation of smartwatch OSes — Watch OS, Android Wear and Tizen — is their significant power demands. Smartwatches need to be recharged at most every couple of days, where Swatch watches need new batteries every year (and Swatch will even replace them for you for free).
Reuters quoted Hayek as saying some key and very smart things: Swatch OS will be secure; it won’t need regular updates; and Swatch may open-source license the OS to smaller manufacturers. (Swatch, until last year, also sold its movements to other watchmakers.)
Swatch and its brand Tissot already have very limited lines of smartwatches. Hayek’s slow embrace of the product sounds like next year’s Baselworld will be particularly interesting.