Swatch CEO calls Apple Watch an 'interesting toy,' voices privacy concerns

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited August 2015
Nick Hayek, chief executive of Swiss watch behemoth Swatch, called the Apple Watch an 'interesting toy' and expressed concern over the privacy of health and fitness data collected by modern smartwatches as his company gears up to launch its own wearable later this year.




"The Apple watch is an interesting toy, but not a revolution," Hayek told Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger. His comments were translated by The Guardian.

"These devices, which all eat so much power that they last no longer than 24 hours without needing to be plugged in," Hayek added. "In addition, the user immediately loses control of their data. I personally don't want my blood pressure and blood sugar values stored in the cloud, or on servers in Silicon Valley."

It's not immediately clear how familiar Hayek is with the Apple Watch's actual functionality, as the device does not measure blood sugar. Apple also encrypts all health data locally based on the user's passcode, and detailed privacy settings allow users to control where their data is shared.

Hayek then extolled the virtues of his own company's forthcoming smartwatch, saying it will compete with current wearable payment systems and contain a programmable NFC chip that can be used for access control, among other things. Swatch will not consider any form of health tracking, however.

"I cannot accept the responsibility of whether my device warns a customer in time before a heart attack," Hayek said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 94
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Nick Hayek […] expressed concern over the privacy of […] modern smartwatches as his company gears up to launch its own wearable later this year.

    If the way I've seen traditional watch makers tout storing your credit/debit cards for NFC-based payments is accurate then the privacy concerns fall on them, not Apple.
    "In addition, the user immediately loses control of their data. I personally don't want my blood pressure and blood sugar values stored in the cloud, or on servers in Silicon Valley."

    1) No, they don't lose control of it.

    2) It would be nice to have the option to keep the data locally on the device. We wouldn't your daily step count falling into the wrong hands now, would we? Worst… Bond… Villian… EVER!
    Hayek then extolled the virtues of his own company's forthcoming smartwatch, saying it will compete with current wearable payment systems and contain a programmable NFC chip that can be used for access control, among other things. Swatch will not consider any form of health tracking, however.

    "I cannot accept the responsibility of whether my device warns a customer in time before a heart attack," Hayek said.

    Are you taking responsibility if the data stored on the NFC chip is used by without permission? The banks are gonna love you if you do.


    Bottomline: This is a lot of pooh-poohing for something that is only a 'toy' with no threat to your traditional business model.
  • Reply 2 of 94
    I get 4 days out of a single charge on my Sport edition, really impressed.
  • Reply 3 of 94
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    darendino wrote: »
    I get 4 days out of a single charge on my Sport edition, really impressed.

    I can get about 2 with wOS 2.0 with the current beta. With the earlier betas I wasn't even getting a full day. Still some bugs with the current beta with some freezing apps, the device occasionally restarting on its own, and sometimes needing a manual restart to get the M8(?) motion chip to register when I'm standing, but it seems like it's nearly there.
  • Reply 4 of 94
    Since his company is trying to play catch up to Apple, I would assume they know all about the watch functionality (know thy enemy and all that) and is just trying to paint Apple in a bad light. It would be funny if after all of his talk about Apple and privacy, that their new watch comes out running Android. We'll see.
  • Reply 5 of 94

    Well what did you expect him to say...  Not everyone wants an Apple Watch believe it or not. I am not sold on health tracking for people that do not have a condition that needs that kind of monitoring either but to each his own. I think AW is not a fully developed product and it's usefulness (for me) is not there yet. Even Apple's own commercials are selling "lifestyle" over function, I guess if I am lost in a museum someone watching me from a distance can draw and arrow and send it to me, ahhh that is not enough for me. 

  • Reply 6 of 94
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,820member
    "I cannot accept the responsibility of whether my device warns a customer in time before a heart attack," Hayek said.

    With that train of thought, you shouldn't accept the responsibility of your device warning a customer of the time for any event, including a cardiologist's appointment. Maybe you shouldn't be in watch business.

    This guy is starting to sound like the early CEOs of BlackBerry, and Ballmer.
  • Reply 7 of 94
    revenantrevenant Posts: 488member
    I thought it was only ostriches that put their heads in the sand
  • Reply 8 of 94
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 918member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iSteelers View Post



    Since his company is trying to play catch up to Apple, I would assume they know all about the watch functionality (know thy enemy and all that) and is just trying to paint Apple in a bad light. It would be funny if after all of his talk about Apple and privacy, that their new watch comes out running Android. We'll see.



    Agreed.  I'd be genuinely surprised if Swatch had the resources to build a watch OS from the ground up.  Then again they've been selling toy watches for so long with an incredible mark-up maybe they have deep enough pockets?

  • Reply 9 of 94
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    sinus tree wrote: »
    I think AW is not a fully developed product and it's usefulness (for me) is not there yet.

    Did you buy the original iPhone? Not many did. Many said it wasn't a fully developed product. It didn't have a physical keyboard, it didn't have 3G, cut/copy/paste, and a whole slew of HW, SW and services available on devices running BB OS and WinMo. Apple's competitors sounded just like Hayek; it was a 'toy' on a ridiculously large 3.5" display. I know I saw the brilliance of what it was going to become, the same way a parent or teacher can tell by how a 6yo asks questions and engages with the world, that despite their young age their potential far exceeds other that of the older and more experienced. I see that with Apple's latest wearable tech.
  • Reply 10 of 94
    I feel the tiniest remorse for these companies. But fortunately the feeling only lasts for a moment. Why haven't they started learning from the past 8 years? Apple, android, and MS don't need to work as hard to take over other product lines as these other companies do. These guys (and others) needed to be spending their profits over the past 20 years on building the future of watches (products) rather than sticking to what's working. Which is becoming more and more apparent that this normal behaviour for nearly all of them.

    And what does he mean 'toy'? If the apple watch is a toy what is his watch? I get that an analog watch can be an engineering marvel but on the perceivable surface it just tells time. Smartphones did huge damage to traditional watch sales and the smart watch (lead by apple) will continue to push their sales to the level of a tiny cult following.
  • Reply 11 of 94
    Soon, we'll be adding 'getting swatched' to the lexicon, a la getting 'blackberried' or getting 'palmed.'
  • Reply 12 of 94
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by razorpit View Post



    Agreed.  I'd be genuinely surprised if Swatch had the resources to build a watch OS from the ground up.  Then again they've been selling toy watches for so long with an incredible mark-up maybe they have deep enough pockets?


     

    For all intents and purposes, Swatch is the Swiss watch industry. They have plenty of money and the ability to strike the right partnerships; their only problem is vision. 

  • Reply 13 of 94
    So, to sum up, the CEO of Swatch has absolutely no idea what the competition's product does, and doesn't seem super interested in finding out, but he's still going to try to compete. Sure, okay. Lots of companies owe their success to forging blindly ahead into a market that they don't understand.

    If you haven't already sold your Swatch stock, you might want to go ahead and do so.
  • Reply 14 of 94
    He should really be saying that he holds the ultimate privacy trump card, nobody wants to sync data with a Swatch, which makes them totally secure.

    Sounds like he doesn't lose any sleep over his company developing both useless and ugly products.

    If I was doing the interview, I would have asked:

    "Are there any Swatch models with a complication to indicate exactly how much time has literally passed your company by?"

    "You've seen Apple's iPhone, why didn't your company learn anything from the 'Swiss army knife' that's made just down the road from Swatch?"

    "Do you have the Swiss Miss girl's number, and would you like me to say hello for you on this Apple Watch toy?"
  • Reply 15 of 94
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    Lol.. Swatch is feeling the heat. This piece along with their recent trademark submissions that copy apple's typical ad phrases is a sure sign that Apple's launch is forcing them to actually produce something other than little pieces of colourful plastic.
  • Reply 16 of 94
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 918member



    I understand.  I'm sure they have the money but building an OS from the ground up requires an unbelievable amount of knowledge, especially when you consider everything Swatch wants to put in this "adult" product.  Even if you hire people who on paper should be able to make it work doesn't necessarily mean they'll succeed as a team.  Apple has an enormous head start on Swatch for Hayek to be making statements like that.  

  • Reply 17 of 94
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    This whole battery life argument to me is kind of stupid.unless you're going to be someplace where you have no access to power for several days why does it matter whether your watch needs a charge every day, two days or once a week? I charge my watch for about 1/2 hour before I got to bed, wear it to bed and charge it again while I'm in the shower the next morning. Not a big hassle at all. If I'm doing that every other day with watchOS 2 great. But I think battery life concerns are overblown. And I'm not sure how a Swatch smart watch with Android Wear is going to fare much better, unless the device is absolutely massive to allow for a much bigger battery.
  • Reply 18 of 94
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    what a tool. haven't heard that line before ("toy"), have we...Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad. when will these jokers learn? and as if his company's wearable won't be of the same class of tool/toy.
  • Reply 19 of 94
    Traditional watch makers like Swatch are dead men walking. Their time is over. They're just in denial.

    Their pricey Breitlings and Pateks will presume their rightful place in a drawer alongside pocket watches.
  • Reply 20 of 94
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    sinus tree wrote: »
    Well what did you expect him to say...  Not everyone wants an Apple Watch believe it or not. I am not sold on health tracking for people that do not have a condition that needs that kind of monitoring either but to each his own. I think AW is not a fully developed product and it's usefulness (for me) is not there yet. Even Apple's own commercials are selling "lifestyle" over function, I guess if I am lost in a museum someone watching me from a distance can draw and arrow and send it to me, ahhh that is not enough for me. 

    ah, I see you haven't used one yet. I don't need a health condition before wanting to stay on top of my daily activity goals, including standing -- the big one for me because I'm a knowledge worker seated all day, which is linked to higher mortality rates (organ squish). it's amazing how quickly the hours roll by and the reminder to stand up and walk around are killer for me.

    have never needed it to get out of a museum.
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