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FES Watch has an e-ink display *and* band, with 24 different design combinations
Smartwatches: Samsung loves the idea so much it’s already released 6 devices (with a 7th possibly pending). Apple is gearing up for one. LG can make a pretty good one. Motorola has matriculated, and even ASUS has now jumped on-board. Yes, it’s safe to say that even if the market itself doesn’t really want a smartwatch yet, they’re being inundated with them.
The real problem though? These products cost well over $200 a piece, and they’re made of electronic parts that may or may not hold up over time. They’re also very pedestrian, what with their limited watch faces and expensive bands. Now that everyone seems to be focused on features and functionality, what’s left for the standard digital dial? Plenty.
What if, and this is a big if, you could buy a watch that could change designs at the press of your finger? And not just the watch face mind you, but the entire watch itself. What if the only thing between this watch – made with an e-ink display – and your wrist, was a crowdfunded campaign with 3 months remaining? Well, assuming you’re in Japan, the dream may be more of a reality than you think. Enter Fashion Entertainments’ FES Watch.
It’s important to note that this actually isn’t a smartwatch (at least in the traditional sense), but rather just an e-ink watch that looks smart on you. Featuring an e-ink watch face and band, it allows you to choose from 24 different designs to customize said parts. Granted we’re dealing with black and white here and it has no special ‘smart’ features, but with a projected 2 month battery lifespan on a single charge and a stunning transforming design, it’s still a pretty slick idea.
The intriguing device is currently on its second round of crowdfunding here in Japan, on Makuake (think of it as the Japanese Kickstarter). This comes after raising around 2.7 million Yen ($23,000) this past September. The current crowdfunding goal is an additional 1 million Yen, which is about $8,400. I will attempt to obtain one of these watches (they are selling for a very reasonable 19,800 Yen – $168 or so), though unfortunately it’s not going to arrive soon, as the estimated departure date is May 2015. Still, if/when I get one, you can expect an update!
Also be sure to check the source links for more pictures of this alarmingly brilliant timepiece, and even an e-ink bow-tie! What do you think, like the idea? Would you like to see a true smartwatch with similar functionality baked in? Let us know what you think in the comments.