Iconic Japanese watchmaker Casio has announced it is preparing to enter the smartwatch market. The company has been working on an intelligent timepiece for the last four years, and is planning to release it next year.
Casio says its smartwatch will focus on comfort and durability instead of technology. It stated that the final product will be a watch that tries to be smart, rather than a smart device that is also a watch. Kazuhiro Kashio, Casio's new chief, says that the goal is to produce "a device that won’t break easily, is simple to put on, and feels good to wear."
Casio's previous attempts at incorporating technology into its watches did not prove very popular. The company developed wristwatches with schedule managers, heart-rate monitors and communication functions, but their success was patchy at best. This may explain Casio's decision to focus on time telling rather than features for its upcoming smartwatch.
Casio has said the upcoming device will be priced in the same range as the entry level Apple Watch Sport, around $400. This will also put it in competition with the upper echelon of Android Wear smartwatches.
The Casio smartwatch will launch at the end of next March in the U.S. and Japan, with no announced plans of further international availability, and will be "targeted at men who like to partake in outdoor activities including sports."