True to the rumors about an e-paper smartwatch by the Japanese electronic giant, Sony has announced its smartwatch. Though it might not look as sleek or as cool as those by Apple or Motorola, the Sony product is expected to have an incredibly long battery life, and might last upto 2 months with a single charge. Though the Fes Watch has a minimalist, monochrome design, it does not quite match up to the other smartwatches in the market.
The device has been described as “retro and cool” by gadget expert Stuart Miles from Pocket-lint. “One of my predictions for next year is that fashion is going to play a huge part in shaping the tech industry. Having a phone that’s big and square is one thing, but if we’re actually wearing things, it has to look good.”
The face of the watch and the display will both be made out of a new material (patented by Sony) which will allow every surface of the watch to act as a display.
Not only will the whole surface of the proposed watch be a display screen, it is also said to have the ability to change its display. This is one of the first products out of Sony’s motley bag after the CEO Kazuo Hirai formed a creative division within the company to fast track on products which could translate into greater profits for the giant which has been in the red for some time now, and also helping it get rid of some products which do not fit in their existing business model, as pointed out here earlier.
“The device will emphasize style, rather than trying to outdo more technological offerings like Apple’s watch and Sony’s own SmartWatch,” sources in Sony had said.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony had deliberately kept the development of the watch low-key, opting to use a spin-off division called Fashion Entertainments to work on the device.
To gauge the public’s interest in the proposed project, Fashion Entertainments then ran a crowdfunding campaign to fund the watch’s creation and raised 3.5 million yen ($30,000; £19,000) from it.
“We hid Sony’s name because we wanted to test the real value of the product, whether there will be demand for our concept,” a person involved in the project told the newspaper. A spokeswoman for Sony confirmed to the BBC that Fashion Entertainments is a division of company’s New Business Creation Department, and was working on a number of e-paper prototypes.
Though e-paper has certain limitation over the liquid crystal displays (LCD) which are currently being used for smartwatches, Sony hopes the longer battery life will work in their favor and help them make their presence felt in the wearables market. The date for the release of the Fes watch has not yet been announced.