Intel who is partnering with Tag Heuer to develop a smartwatch is now helping Fossil and Oakley develop a new generation smartwatch.
The move comes as the Swiss Government moves to help fund the development of an OS that traditional Swiss watch manufacturers can adopt. The Swiss believe that they can deliver a “superior” smartwatch OS than IT based companies.
A Swiss Government official at the recent World Mobile Congress in Barcelona said “We believe that Swiss watch manufacturers are in a better position to deliver a truly superior smartwatch than the likes of Samsung, LG or Apple.
Switch manufacturers are already delivering premium watches with longer battery life and by marrying current watch technology with new smartwatch capabilities we believe that Swiss watch manufacturer’s long term are in a better position to deliver a superior product that people actually want to wear”.
Intel executives have said that they are now working with Tag Heur and Fossil tro help them launch their first smartwatches later this year.
“Through the second half of the year you will see products with Oakley and Fossil,” Paul Stacey, Intel’s Director of Marketing and Business Development for Wearable Technology said recently.
He added: “We can’t say more about the products, but we’ve got a partnership with them and you’ll see products probably in Q4.”
Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver told Reuters yesterday “Apple will get young people used to wearing a watch and later maybe they will want to buy themselves a real watch” he said.
“Could today be the day we see Tag Heuer’s “real watch” answer to the rise of the smartwatch?
The Swiss watch maker is teaming up with computing giants Intel to work on a timepiece capable of holding its own against the connected devices currently vying for a place on our wrists.
Capable of tracking geolocation, altitude and distance walked, it won’t have quite the range of abilities that other smartwatches have. But Tag Heuer’s watch will have one key advantage; it will look just like its sweet, “proper” original black Carrera said Jean-Claude Biver
While Tag Heuer will make the traditional watch components in Switzerland, all the smart internals will come from Intel, which will produce chips and apps for the timepiece.
One advantage that Intel has is that they are used to managing heat and battery life around processors.
The two companies first confirmed plans for a nondescript partnership late last year, with today’s Tag Heuer announcement offering further hints of what to expect from the Fossil smartwatch.
Making the announcement at BaselWorld, Intel confirmed its co-venture with Tag Heuer will see the Swiss watch specialist launch a luxury Android Wear device later this year.
With little still known about either the Fossil or Tag Heuer smartwatches, Stacey has revealed Intel’s primary push into the wearables space will focus around fashion-led products.
“We are focussing on fashion partnerships and sports,” he said.
“Fundamentally we believe wearable technology, especially in the consumer space, should be something you are proud to wear, want to wear or should be integrated into something you already wear.”
He added: “We are helping push the boundaries of what’s possible and inspire the market.
“If the market goes faster, everyone’s a winner.”
Earlier this year Intel confirmed its smartwatch-based intent, unveiling the wearable centric Curie chipset.