In a blow to Android Wear, massive watchmaker Swatch Group is choosing to develop its own smartwatch operating system rather than go with Google’s OS designed for the wrist. “There’s a possibility for wearables to develop as a consumer product, but you have to miniaturize and have an independent operating system,” CEO Nick Hayek told Bloomberg in an interview today.
The unnamed OS will “need less battery power” — a common gripe for even brand new smartwatches — and “protect data better,” which, uh, is not something that’s been a pressing request. A Tissot-branded watch due in late 2018 will be the first to ship with the software.
Hayek said his company is taking a “think small” approach and building software that could potentially also be licensed to smaller companies and startups in Silicon Valley. The company has received “over 100 requests” for more details on the in-development OS. That might get fans of the quirky Pebble OS (RIP) excited, but it also poses a challenge for Swatch.
It’s not exactly easy to make an independent wearables OS with actionable notifications, popular third-party apps, and other features that consumers want. But if you’re in the “just give me something that displays sleek notifications and lasts days on a charge” camp, maybe Swatch’s upcoming contender will get you excited. The Swatch Group’s brands include Swatch, Tissot, and Omega on the luxury end. Google still has Tag Heuer on its side and the brand new Connected Modular 45 for people itching for drop $1,600 on an Android Wear device.