In the last few days, Sony was rumored to have been working on an e – paper smartwatch, but now we have proof that the rumors were indeed true. Sony’s e – paper FES Watch has been hiding in plain sight on the Japanese crowdfunding website Makukake since September this year. Nobody noticed its presence there, as Sony’s name was nowhere to be found. Instead, enthusiasts supported a project called Fashion Entertainments Watch.
The e – paper FES Watch is being developed by a company named Fashion Entertainments, which is associated with Sony. The experimental wearable device borrowed the e – paper and e – ink technologies we are familiar with from our Kindle or Pebble devices. However, Sony took them to a whole new level. The FES Watch sports the e – paper principles not only for the watch face, but also for the wristband. This allows the watch to change its entire look, as it was designed to feature 24 different designs.
From a monochrome elegant design and a light – colored one, to an alligator skin composition, the watch cycles patterns in a very attractive manner. Almost all tech journalists agree that this is basically everything the watch does in terms of “smartness”, but specialists admit that the 60 days battery life is something to take into account.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony hid the e – paper FES Watch in plain sight on purpose, as it wanted to test the public’s reaction to the device before any official release.
“We hid Sony’s name because we wanted to test the real value of the product, whether there will be demand for our concept, said a person familiar with the matters.”
We can say the public welcomed the smart gadget wholeheartedly: the crowdfunding goal was around $8,500, but the project rose a little over $20,000.
Sony seems to follow the footsteps of other major tech companies which are now entering the tech – fashion market. Analysts consider that this field does not only have an immense potential, but it will also see fierce competition in the years to come. Some enterprises focus on developing smart accessories and jewelry, while others like Sony, experiment with e – paper gadgets. Reports suggest that Fashion Entertainments is working on other e – paper prototypes involving shoes and bow – ties.
The price for this highly fashionable and interesting e – paper FES Watch is not impossible to afford: people supporting the crowdfunding project paid $167 and are expecting to receive the device around May 2015. However, we don’t know yet whether Sony will make the watch widely available as a consumers’ product.