A watch hasn't been "just a watch" for some years now, and Swatch has taken another tech-step forward with the release of its "Glorious Runner" watch with Access Technology, the first "Olympic watch" for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Fitted with a microchip and loop antenna, the Glorious Runner can store data and transmit information to external computer stations. It has the potential to activate various remote access and stored data facilities. For example, this technology has been used to replace door keys in hotels, and as admission tickets at exhibitions, concerts, swimming pools (the watch is water-proof) and sporting events. The watch can handle micro-transactions, and an Internet version enables access to the Net.
Apparently, Yassir Arafat used the Internet every day with his Swatch.
The watch has a clear strap and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games insignia and logo. Retailing for $75 from all Swatch retail, Olymic and Nuance outlets Australia-wide, the purchase of a Glorious Runner watch entitles you to one free visit up the AMP Tower (ie, Centrepoint, in Sydney) and a 10 per cent discount from all official Olympic stores. This offer makes use of the watch's Access technology and expires on June 30 1998.
Swatch plans to offer more incentive programs that use Access control as we hurtle towards 2000.