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Swatch to release new operating system for smartwatches

The first smartwatch to run the Swiss-made operating system is expected to be available in late 2018.

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CNET

There will soon be another watch operating system on the market. In an interview with Bloomberg Technology, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said the company is making a new operating system aimed at smartwatches.

More specifically, Swatch's Tissot brand, set to be introduced late next year, will be the first smartwatch to use the to-be-named Swiss-made OS. Hayek said the new timepiece "will be able to connect to small objects and wearables," according to Bloomberg. Most importantly, it will require less battery power -- allowing the watch to operate longer between charges -- and protect data better than existing smartwatches, Hayek said. Swatch said it has also developed "the world's smallest Bluetooth chip, for use in watches and household objects."

Considering the popularity of iOS and Android, Swatch is fighting an uphill battle. However, according to Hayek, Swatch's "think small" approach will work better, since the company is trying to solve the biggest problem for wearable devices: short battery life. The new operating system is currently being developed with the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology.

Apart from making its own smartwatch, Swatch says it will provide its watch operating system to third party watch and device makers. Hayek says Swatch has fielded about 100 inquiries about its new OS, including half coming from small companies in Silicon Valley. 

Editor's note (June 13, 2017): Updated with additional attribution.

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