Watch manufacturer Swatch has unveiled its first ever smartwatch design, an NFC-enabled design that will let wearers make payments with a swipe of their wrist, as part of a larger initiative to combat products like the Apple Watch.
The first smartwatch design is set to be released in May, with plans to release new models with differing tech features, rather than an 'all-in-one' smartwatch aimed at directly competing with devices like the Apple Watch or Pebble.
"We are the world champions of integrating smart functions in a watch," said Mick Hayek," chief executive of Swatch Group. "We don't want to produce a mini mobile phone on your wrist. Others can do that."
The Swatch Touch Zero One is, curiously, being targeted at beach volleyball players, boasting features that enable users to track 'power hits and power claps' as well as a step counter.
One advantage the watch does boast it that its battery will last several months before needing to be replaced, unlike the Apple Watch, which currently has a battery life of around 24 hours.
Swatch accounts for 18 per cent of all watch sales through brands like Omega, Breguet, Calvin Klein and Rado, and has consistently increased its market share over the past five years, but the new wave of smartwatches may represent a disruption of this market as tech industry giants enter the market.
In order to facilitate its mobile payments tech, Swatch has teamed with Chinese credit card association China UnionPay, along with a Swiss bank and a major credit card company, rumoured to be Visa.