Swatch’s first smartwatch came as a bit of disappointment. The Bellamy is really just a regular wristwatch with an extra NFC chip for mobile payments, but the Swiss company could have something much more exciting planned for the future.
A new report from Bloomberg reveals that Swatch has been hoarding smartwatch patents and potentially laying the groundwork for a device of its own. Specifically, the company has patents focused on “watch circuitry and hardware” along with new types of sensors and battery technology. In total the watchmaker has 173 patents in its arsenal, though it’s unclear what it plans to do with them.
It’s possible Swatch could be gearing up to release its own smartwatch, this time with motion tracking sensors, a display and support for apps. The patents would theoretically make it possible for the company to launch its own wearable without needing to partner with a tech giant first.
Then again, the firm might simply be happy making money off other firms. Swatch could make a nice profit licensing some of these patents to rival watchmakers, though we assume the company is at least considering a more powerful followup to the Bellamy.