Sony was an early player in the smartwatch market with the appropriately named “Sony SmartWatch.” It has since released a couple of additional models, most recently the Sony SmartWatch 3, its entry into the Android Wear space. A new report from Bloombergsuggests it may again try to forge a new path in the market, this time focusing on a new smartwatch that employs e-paper and can “change its appearance.”
There are obvious benefits to going with something like e-paper on a smartwatch, the main one being low power consumption and, as a result, longer battery life. Most of the smartwatches on the market today don’t last much longer than a day or two, with Pebble being one major exception to that rule since it uses a low-power LCD, and the Apple Watch isn’t expected to last much longer than 24-hours, either.
Sony’s mission is to create an e-paper band which is completely made out of a display, according to Bloomberg, which means there should be plenty of real estate for showing notifications, news, apps and more. Also, since e-paper can easily be refreshed on the fly, it is indeed easy for the product to “change its appearance,” from say, a wearable focused on fitness to one that shows e-mail alerts and more. Bloomberg said Sony’s goal, however, is to “emphasize style,” so it won’t be trying to tackle some of the same goals as the Android Wear-powered SmartWatch 3 or other products.
The device is reportedly a part of a new Sony program focused on creating innovative new products, which includes a Seed Acceleration Program, Bloomberg explained. That program allows employees to come up with new products and anonymously pitch them for funding within Sony, the news outlet said. One focus of the innovation program is to help Sony create new products moving forward, which will be important for growth as its mobile business continues to decline.
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