Swatch to launch Windows-compatible smartwatch that doesn't need to be charged

Wearable devices may not be everyone's cup of tea, but demand for them is slowly growing. By 2018, the market for smartwatches alone is estimated to swell to around $10 billion, so it's no surprise that manufacturers are scrambling to plant their flags in this new ground, to grab a piece of the action before the market gets saturated with 'me too' devices.

iOS and Android are already well catered for, with a wide range of smartwatches compatible with these operating systems. The options for Windows users are far more limited - but owners of Windows devices will soon have one more choice to pick from, when Swatch launches its new smartwatch in the next quarter.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek confirmed that the device will go on sale within the next three months, and will include NFC connectivity for mobile payments. In addition to Windows support, the watch will also work with Android, but iOS support will not be offered.

But Hayek's most significant revelation is that the device "won't have to be charged". Unfortunately, he didn't give any further details, so it's not clear how exactly this will work - it could run via a self-winding pendulum mechanism (similar to Seiko's 'Kinetic' system), solar-powered cells, or something entirely different.

Swatch has been developing new technologies and patenting its innovations at an intense pace, hitting a new record for patent applications last year, including many for 'batteries based on new materials that can double their performance'.

Hayek said: "We'll implement all of those into new products. Some of them, such as the battery, will take a few years though, and are also destined for other industries, like the automotive industry."

Sadly, he didn't elaborate further on the company's new smartwatch plans, so details of pricing and availability remain unclear - and we don't even have the first idea of what this thing will look like. But with the promise of the new watch arriving in a matter of months, at least there's not too long to wait.

The Swatch device will face some fierce competition, both from established smartwatch rivals and from high-profile newcomers, including the Apple Watch, which will go on sale in April priced from $349.

Source: Bloomberg via Windows Central

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