In the near future, you might be able to buy a smartwatch, not from your favorite smartphone OEM, but from your luxury brand of choice. TAG Heuer might soon be outing its own take on the smartwatch, which might just be the opening salvo in a new trend of smart timepieces.
Just as smartphone cameras have started to endanger the bottom line of some digital camera manufacturers, smartwatches also pose a threat to traditional watch makers. Granted, luxury brands like TAG Heuer will probably be the last to feel any negative ripple, they could very well find themselves face to face with a customer base that will be looking for more functionality inside their watches.
According to newspaper NZZ, Jean-Claude Biver, head of the watch division of French luxury brand and TAG Heuer owner LVMH, said that the company is looking into launching its own smartwatch line. If that ever does come to pass, we might see this brand, as well as other industry players, putting out their smartwatch bets at the Basel watch fair in March next year.
Details of the smartwatch are naturally sparse and neither Biver nor TAG Heuer unsurprisingly could be reached for comments. Biver was, however, quoted to have said that “it must not copy the Apple Watch“, which could mean a whole world in this nascent smartwatch market. In the smartphone world, something like that could be equated to taking and skinning Android, but Android Wear might feel too raw for those outside Google’s close knit circle to use. Depending on the resources they’re willing to throw into this new device market, TAG Heuer could just end up using a custom real-time operating system (RTOS) of its own.
That said, smartwatches might not immediately threaten to unseat traditional watches just yet. Unlike smartphones, which are practically the natural evolution of celphones, smartwatches aren’t a simple incremental step forward from conventional timepieces. It definitely requires a paradigm shift that not many are willing to make yet, especially with the available designs and limitations of smartwatches in the market today. With Apple finally joining the game, both mobile and watch industry players are likely to start taking notice, but it might still take some time before the smartwatch becomes as ubiquitous, and as over-saturated, as the smartphone.