Thursday, 20 October 2016

Michael Kors, Tissot and Nixon join the smartwatch market

Michael Kors has become the latest fashion brand to offer smartwatches.
The US firm has announced two timepieces - one targeted at each sex - powered by Google's Android Wear.
Samsung, Nixon and Fossil have also revealed new software-powered models at the Baselworld trade show. Swatch's Tissot brand unveiled its first "connected watch" too, which links up to smartphones but does not run apps.
The launches coincide with a decline in traditional watch sales.
The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry recently reported a "steep decline" in revenues, with January's 1.5bn Swiss francs ($1.6bn; £1.1bn) representing an 8% drop on the same month's sales in 2015.
The business group has blamed a "troubled economic situation" for the fall.
However, research firm Futuresource Consulting has reported that global smartwatch shipments now outnumber those of traditional Swiss watches.

"Many consumers are still not sure how a smartwatch will benefit them in terms of lifestyle and practicality," said its report, timed to coincide with the event in Basel.
"[But] ongoing advancements by the integrated chip manufacturers means they can go smaller - which opens up the market for more petite, women's watches, effectively increasing their total available market."

Thinner smartwatches

Smartwatch manufacturers that use Google's Android Wear have limited ability to customise the operating system's features, so much of their efforts are focused instead on design.
Michael Kors - whose devices are manufactured by Fossil - focused on their exclusive digital watchfaces and "glamorous style" at its launch rather than on technical specifications.

Fossil also unveiled two new smartwatches under its own brand - the Fossil Q Wander and Q Marshal - which it said were slimmer than its first-generation models.
California-based Nixon, however, had one trick up its sleeve for its first Android Wear watch - the Mission. It is water-resistant to 100m (328ft) - a record for the category - and still able to accept voice commands.
That allows Nixon to target the device at surfers, who need that level of protection because of the force with which they sometimes hit the waves.

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