Sony quietly puts up e-ink smartwatch on crowdfunding site

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SHAFAQNA – For the last few months, Sony has been quietly testing consumer interest in one of its latest ventures — Using electronic paper to make fashion products and in particular, a watch.

A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report has revealed that Sony secretly placed its project, a watch called Fes Watch, on Japanese crowdfunding site, Makuake, in September, under the name of Fashion Entertainments.

The FES watch, designed in collaboration with design firm TAKT PROJECT, uses electronic paper for the watch face and strap. It has 24 options for a display pattern on the watch face and strap, and only activates and displays the time or other information when the wearer makes a “look at the watch” action.

“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 was quoted saying.

And the team would not have been disappointed.

Within three weeks, the project surpassed its goal of ¥2 million (S$22,000) and has raised more than S$30,500 so far.

According to the report, Sony did not reveal an official release date, although crowd funding supporters can receive them after May next year.

In the works are also e-ink-based bow ties, hat accessories and paper holders.

Bloomberg earlier reported that Sony is developing a watch made of electronic paper for release as soon as next year in a trial of the company’s new venture-style approach to creating products, quoting people familiar with the matter. The device will emphasise style, rather than trying to outdo more technological offerings such as Apple’s watch and Sony’s own SmartWatch, the sources said.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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