Swatch Group unveils strategy to compete with smartwatches

Swatch Group, the world’s bestselling watchmaker, is to introduce models that can make contactless payments and display data sent by smartphones. But he said he had no plans to sell the kinds of fully featured smartwatches being offered by Apple, Motorola, Pebble and others.

Swatch Group recently reported recently reported 8.7bn Swiss francs ($9.2bn; £6.2bn) of sales for its last financial year, a 3% improvement on the previous period. However, some observers believe it and other mainstream watchmakers face disruption from tech industry giants who have begun selling wearable products.

Swatch’s chief executive Nick Hayek said his company was planning to introduce two types of wireless communication tech to its wristwear:

  • NFC (near-field communication) – a chip that can be used to trigger contactless payments and open hotel doors and other compatible locks. The first NFC-capable watches are set to be released in two months.
  • Bluetooth – this chip will allow watches to send and receive data to smartphones. This could be used to show news updates, text messages and other notifications. Mr Hayek said the first Bluetooth-enabled models were due in “the summer”

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