Smartwatch technology is still in its teen years, but Sony announced a project that will take smartwatch development into a completely new direction. The Japanese tech giant works on a watch with e-ink technology.
If you are used to getting information only from the round or squarish watch display, get ready to read additional info directly on the device’s wrist band. Sony will use a patented material to cover both key areas. The company has not officially announced the idea, so the news comes from anonymous sources, Bloomberg stated.
We should not expect any technological breakthroughs, however. Sony has style in mind rather than performance. Watches have long been fashionable devices, so it makes sense to produce smartwatches that have style as a key selling point. An e-ink display may heavily increase battery life, a core issue in current smartwatches.
At the moment, users are not particularly excited about the new type of products, although the trend is predicted to change in the next couple of years. Especially so if smartphones keep getting bigger (when will the madness stop?) Users consider that most current smartwatches are heavy and pricy, according to a survey.
Sony’s smartphone division has been performing poorly in strict financial terms. Next year, the company will consequently reduce its smartphone lineup. The latest Xperia Z3 and its smaller version, Xperia Z3 Compact have been widely acclaimed by analysts and consumers, particularly for their stellar battery performance. Hiroki Totoki, the new mobile division chief, specifically said they are looking for ways to increase profit, not market share.
As you may already know, the future e-ink smartwatch will not be the company’s first smartwatch. Sony SmartWatch is already at the fifth generation, a stage when the company decided to embrace Android Wear as wearable OS instead of its own software.
For Sony, the e-ink smartwatch is part of a larger development strategy. Allegedly, the company started running out of ideas for new products, so they came up with a solution.
In an effort to revive its culture of innovation, Sony founded a new department called MESH (Make, Experience, Share) earlier this year. MESH fosters DIY projects by basically offering various hardware building block which are easily programmable to amateur tech enthusiasts.
The Sony e-ink smartwatch idea comes from a MESH subdivision called Seed Acceleration Program. Employees can pitch ideas inside or outside the company with the goal of receiving funding. Thus, the future e-ink device success will be the first Seed Acceleration Program success.