As smartwatches’ popularity is on the rise, many companies are getting involved in developing better versions of these devices. So it comes as no surprise to see Tag Heuer, Swiss watch manufacturers team up with Intel and Google to release luxury smartwatch.
On Thursday, March 19, the Swiss company announced the plan was in development phase. The new luxury product is expected to be released this year. It will function using Google’s Android Wear operating system.
There is currently no information regarding the price. As a comparison, other smartwatches operating on Android wear, like those developed by Samsung, Lenovo, Asus and Sony are cheaper than the soon-to-be released Apple Watch that has a starting price of $349 but can be sold for up to $17,000.
Swiss watches have been leaders in the industry for decades. But smartwatches are becoming more and more popular. By 2016 it is expected they’ll make up for 40 percent of consumer wrist-worn gadgets. This means traditional watch companies must keep up the pace. Tag Heuer and Swatch are doing just that, without ignoring their mechanical origins.
As Tag Heuer does not have the capacity to develop smartwatch technology on its own, the company decided to begin collaboration with Google and Intel.
This is not the first time Swiss watch industry encounters a powerful competitor. Quartz watches for example, introduced in the 60s, together with the invasion of low-cost Asian watches in the 70s both increased the need for Swiss watch manufacturers to reinvent their products.
Chris Hooper, the founder of Windy City Watch Collector, an establishment that buys and sells new and vintage watches considers that “Swiss watchmakers have done a very good job of reinventing themselves, but also “selling to the public the cachet of a finely made mechanical watch”.
Mike Bell, general manager at Intel’s New Devices Group considers the new luxury smartwatch will be a successful product as it combines a good design due to the involvement of Tag Heuer but also proper functionality. He made the following statement:
“As more traditional watch brands come out with smartwatches, you’ll see acceptance because it’s going to be an extension of a brand that people already like, as opposed to a computer company saying ‘hey, I took a cell phone and taped it to my wrist and it’s a smartwatch’”.
Image Source: Wired