Swatch, a long time veteran of watch manufacturing, plans to compete with the Apple Watch by introducing a completely different type of smartwatch. Swatch plans to use Near Field Technology to enable users to make contactless mobile payments, but consumers should not expect “a mini mobile phone” for their wrist. Swatch will focus on individual tech features in specific models, to avoid encroaching on the product concept explored by so many smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung, Sony, and now Apple. Swatch announced this watch in the midst of Apple Watch fever, and managed to steal some social mindshare from some big wearables players that they consider to be their competition.
The lack of extraneous features on Swatch’s smartwatch will set it apart. They seem to be taking a page out of Pebble’s playbook as they focus not on accommodating every possible use case, but on optimizing proposed usage for a wrist worn device. With this shift in focus comes more limited, but tailored, features and the ever important, yet seemingly elusive, longer battery life. With a lower price point, long battery life, and capabilities, Swatch is looking to present a no frills, streamlined payment solution.
While Swatch’s smartwatch may be lacking the allure and prestige of the Apple Watch, it prevails in its esteemed focus and lack of patience for anything unnecessary. Consumers consistently complain about the usability of current smartwatches, and Swatch’s no-nonsense approach may be a giant leap toward closing that gap in user experience.
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