Swatch Group AG is developing an alternative to the iOS and Android operating systems for its smartwatches.
The company's Tissot brand will introduce a model around the end of 2018 that uses the Swiss-made system, which will also be able to connect small objects and wearables, Swatch Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said Thursday. He added that the new OS will be energy efficient and that will also safeguard user's data.
Swatch is facing the competition from Apple and Google, mostly in the low-end timepieces, so the company has been adding electronic functions into Swatch's own less expensive brands such as Tissot.
The new operating system has been developed with the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, a university specialized in miniaturization. Swatch is open to offer the new OS to third parties.
In related news, Tissot has yet to start selling its solar-powered Smart Touch smartwatch. It was supposed to be released last year, and it would be connectable to Android and Apple smartphones. Also, there's a solar-powered weather station that delivers local conditions to the Smart-Touch's display. You'll also get an altimeter and modern conveniences like automatic time updates. The battery should last up to a year on a charge, too, and you can recharge it using solar power. The device will be available from late autumn or early winter, and Tissot is asking around $1,100 to $1,200.