There's a bit of irony to the whole smartwatch movement. After all, it was the rise of the smartphone that diminished the market for watches, and now smartphone makers are trying to make wrist wearables trendy again (and also smart). But wouldn't it be something if traditional watchmakers ended up dominating the category? It could happen -- Swatch is reportedly planning to release a smartwatch sometime this year, making it the second traditional watchmaker to jump into the category.
It was previously rumored that Swatch would partner with Apple to help design and market its Apple Watch, but instead it looks like the two companies be compete with each other. Swatch will also go up against heavyweights like Google and Samsung, along with companies like Pebble and every other firm trying to cash in on the category.
Swatch will be only the second traditional watch maker to jump into the smartwatch market
"Swatch will launch a new generation of its Swatch smartwatch in the next two to three months. Functions will include communication, mobile payments at stores such as Migros and Coop, and applications that work with Windows and Android - without having to be charged," Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said in a statement, according to The Guardian.
Other details are light at the moment, though you can probably expect texting capabilities, notifications for incoming calls, and other basic features found on just about any existing smartwatch. It's not known what advanced features might set it apart, except for the non-charging claim.
Depending on how you use it, Apple's forthcoming smartwatch could need charged in just a few hours. For example, playing games could be a major drain on battery life. But according to Hayek, Swatch's wearable won't need to be charged. That could be a huge selling point, though we suspect it could also mean certain feature limitations -- we don't see gameplay being a major aspect of a smartwatch that purportedly charges itself.