Sony introduced an e-paper watch. The Fes Watch experimental device offers another option to the LCD displays found on most smart watches.
A spinoff company of Sony, Fashion Entertainments will be put in control of developing the new watch. Sony started a crowd funding effort that raised $30,000 in Japan and tried to keep the announcement very modest. In Japan, crowd funding isn’t as big as it is in the United States or China, but Sony usually ships to its own country in the first place. Sony also revealed it used the Fashion Entertainments company in order to create hype about the new product.
The Fes Watch will have little smart functionality other than the ability to tell time. There isn’t much information available at this point but Sony will consider health and fitness sensors, from which data will be read and analyzed in an app on a smartphone.
As opposed to traditional watches, the design of the new Fes Watch is pretty minimal but Sony will make available several watch faces in order of making it more customizable. Even if the Yota smartphone, the Pebble Watch and Amazon Kindle used the e-ink display, the e-paper is not the most common display choice. But advantages of using an e-paper display include easier reading text and a longer battery life.
Sony claimed the battery life of the watch is about 60 days. This is much more than most Android smart watches that last for about one day.
Numerous analysts believe the watches market will see a boom in 2016 with the launch of Apple’s new watch. Apple has already placed an order of 50 million Apple Watches for 2015. Nevertheless, at this moment manufacturers do not seem to be making much profit from wearables. Even if Samsung sold over 800,000 units of its Galaxy Gear, other companies didn’t have this sort of success. LG and Motorola haven’t shared information about the sales of their own wearable smart accessories.
For now, the Fes Watch comes in two options, one with Android Wear operating system and the other with a new custom OS. Sony will most likely offer yet another version of the watch with another OS in the future.