Swatch is normally a company associated with duty-free shops and 12-year-old’s birthday presents. It’s not a leader in the smartwatch market. In fact, it’s not actually in the smartwatch market. But apparently, it’s months away from solving the biggest problem with wrist computers: the battery.
According to a report in Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung, Swatch has been working on a ‘Super Battery’ for smartwatches and cars, with twice the energy storage capacity of anything on the market. The ultimate ambition is a smartwatch that lasts for six months on a single charge. Depending entirely on the type of smartwatch — barebones fitness tracker or fully-featured notifications machine — that’s either an entirely possible feat, or a boastful pipe dream.
But if — and that’s one hell of a big if — Swatch can crack the battery life problem, the company would provide an overnight fix for smartwatches’ biggest Achilles Heel. The longest-lasting ‘real’ smartwatch you can buy is the Pebble, which can go without sucking from an outlet for a whole three days. The Apple Watch lasts a day, maybe. Six-month battery life — or, even a week — would be the biggest game-changer in this entire nascent industry.
This move doesn’t come totally out of left field for the Swiss watch manufacturer: the current CEO’s father, Nicolas Hayek, was one of the pioneers behind the (nowadays electric) Smart car, and the company owns Renata, a big name in the production of tiny watch batteries.
But this is also the same Swatch that promised a charge-free internet-connected smartwatch back in February, with release in the following two-three months. It’s now May, so time is running out for Swatch. [Handelszeitung via Reuters]