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A New Push for Smart Watches

Techstination feature for Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A new push for smart watches. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Fossil and Suunto have been selling smart watches that use Microsoft's MSN Direct service to deliver news, sports, Outlook appointments and other information to the devices for months. And while some say sales have been slower than had been hoped for….the technology is getting a shot in the arm. The world's largest watch maker, Swatch, has introduced what it calls the Paparazzi line…boasting lighter weight, more colorful designs. Swatch CEO Nicolas Hayek…

"There is a part of Microsoft technology in that watch but a big part of it is Swatch technology. And what is very important, the content. There is unique, fun, joyful content." Your watches with the Microsoft technology are different from the watches that have been out there previously from other manufacturers? "I would say so if you look at them. And I always see these technology watches are looking from a lot of manufacturers, like hand grenades."

But even Hayek doesn't expect explosive growth. The CEO says if the smart watches eventually generate three, four or five percent of Swatch brand sales, he will consider them to be successful. One year of service is included in the 150 dollar price. The question remains…how many consumers will be willing to pay for subscriptions to deliver data to their watches….when the same type of information is readily available on many cell phones. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.