Can Swatch beat Google and Apple with a smartwatch OS of its own?

(Image credit: Swatch)

Swatch may be known for making more traditional timepieces, but the Swiss watchmaker is looking into its own proprietary smartwatch operating system (OS) to compete with the likes of Apple's watchOS and Google's Android Wear.

Swatch's take on smartwatch software is expected to debut as part of the company's Tissot brand in 2018, and will allow wearables to connect with small electronics via Bluetooth, according to Bloomberg.

Nick Hayek, Swatch's CEO, says the in-development wearable OS will prioritize consuming less battery power and protecting user data – two edges every wearable maker should always strive to hit.

The company already has experience in both regards, having developed a battery for a beach volleyball fitness tracker that was able to last for months, and worked with Visa on an NFC-powered mobile payment system built right into a wristwatch.

While offering more options to the market – on top of its own watchmaking expertise – Swatch's OS will certainly have an uphill battle ahead competing with smartwatches put out by the two of the biggest names in tech. 

If there's one thing smartwatch owners loathe, it's being unable to use apps or functionalities other wearable users enjoy, so it will serve Swatch well to offer a platform both newcomers and iOS/Android veterans will want to develop for.

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.