When Apple first announced its Apple Watch, others scrambled to get their own smartwatches out into the market to beat the competition. But for Casio, it is different; this iconic maker of the Casio calculator watch from the late 70s is determined to develop not just a smart device, but a “watch that tries to be smart!”
The Japanese Casio Computer Co is not just looking to compete with Apple on its own turf, but trying to develop a truly unique watch with the immense expertise garnered from its previous digital wristwatches including the stunning G-Shock series. The main focus of the new watch, expected to release in US and Japan sometime in 2016, is durability, functionality and comfort rather than fancy trappings.
Casio’s new president Kazuhiro Kashio explained, “We are trying to bring our smartwatch to a level of watch perfection: a device that won’t break easily, is simple to put on and feels good to wear.” The company is already riding high on the waves of success from its G-Shock series and it is this experience and expertise it is banking on to outdo the Apple Watch in terms of technology.
Casio is already known for blazing a path with its watches since it believes in introducing cutting-edge gadgets inside watches rather than building smart devices that also act as watches. Some of its most popular and hi-tech watches include schedule managers, heart-rate monitors and communication functions, but their success has been limited. This time however, the company aims to hit the right notes.
Talking about their latest undertaking, Kazuhiro Kashio said, “At times we just showed off with quirky features and then pulled those products when they didn’t sell well. Now, we are trying to bring our smartwatch to a level of watch perfection: a device that won’t break easily, is simple to put on and feels good to wear.”
Though the retail pricing is yet to be decided, president Kashio pegged it to be somewhere around $400-$500 and said that, “We will aim to achieve about ¥10 billion in smartwatch sales as soon as possible and expand the business from there.” However he equally adamant about stressing the fact that the watch might take time to catch on, “I don’t think the smartwatch will be an instant success, but we want it to grow in the long-term.”