It seems that one of the hottest items of this year’s Christmas shopping season are activity trackers, such as the Apple Watch, or the Fitbit. While other Swiss watch companies were busy figuring out how to come up with a luxury smart watch, Swatch was among the first Swiss brands to unveil a connected watch, the Touch Zero One.
Unveiled in February, the Touch Zero One only arrived to Canada about a month ago and yesterday I had the chance to play with one and discover its features. In typical Swatch fashion, the Touch Zero One is all about simplifying things when it comes to the technology and making it fun when it comes to design. Instead of coming up with a completely new model, Swatch used the Swatch Touch model while upgrading it with motion sensors and BlueTooth connectivity to enable the communication between the watch and a smartphone.
Just like on the Swatch Touch, it is not the entire screen that is touch sensitive, only on the bottom, but it is enough to navigate the simple menu of the watch. As the official timekeeper of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, it is not surprising the Swatch tailored its first connected watch around this sport. First of all it comes with all the functionalities that one would expect from a digital sport watch: two time zones, timer, chronograph and alarm, these were present on the original Touch too. In addition the Touch Zero One introduces the beach volleyball mode, by wearing the watch on your active playing hand, the built-in sensor records the number of hits and shows the power of each one on the watch display. When the match is over, you can go trough all the data on your phone with the Touch Zero One App, and you’ll get extra stats, such as calories burned, the average hit power and even a breakdown of the different kind of hits.
Swatch kept in mind the fans too, by activating the fan mode, the sensor will record your enthusiasm of clapping for you favourite team, recording the number of claps and their power. It made me smile, but it’s actually a neat feature that they will probably exploit in the future by offering the possibility for people watching a game live or on TV, to show their support for their favourite team, by letting their clap data to be aggregated.
There is no activity tracking device that would not offer at least a step counter, and the Touch Zero One too will record the number of steps you walked or run, calories burned, distance traveled and activity time. On your phone, all this data will be presented in a playful way, this is not a bootcamp torture device, it’s all about having fun. The graphical interface of the app is amusing and humorous, especially when you use one of the three built-in coaches that will help you reach your goals. The Lazy Dude, he’s OK with you chilling around and joining him to watch TV. The Tough Guy takes things more seriously and finally, you got even a Superhero trainer if the Tough Guy is not fit enough for you.
There is no battery charging with the Touch Zero One, it’s a regular quartz watch battery that should last several months. Changing it is super simple.
I have to applaud Swatch for the honesty of the Touch Zero One, it’s not like other smartwatches that try look luxurious and more noble than they really are. No, this is a bold, colourful Swatch with a digital display, which also happens to be able to connect to your phone.
In Canada, the price is $160 and you can chose from a wide selection of colours.